February 12, 2016

Minister demands that APP remove ministry logo from conservation masterpan

JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, has written to Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)'s Managing Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, Aida Greenbury, demanding that the ministry’s logo be removed from the front cover of a conservation masterplan published by a newly established APP foundation, the executive summary of which was launched at an event on last Thursday (Feb 4) in Jakarta to mark the third anniversary of the introduction of APP's Forest Conservation Policy.

Furthermore, the letter requested that APP immediately delete a foreword penned by a director general at the ministry.

In the letter, the minister stated that given that the masterplan was an initiative of the APP Group and not the government, the foreword by the director general and the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry’s logo should be immediately deleted from the masterplan so as to avoid any public misperceptions.

The letter was signed on Wednesday (Feb 10) by the ministry's secretary general on behalf of the minister.

During a forestry policy discussion at the ministry complex on Tuesday (Feb 9), the minister commented: "I obviously strongly object to the appearance of the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry’s logo on the masterplan. There was never any discussion about this. The masterplan is an initiative by the private sector, in this case APP. It is not an initiative of my ministry. The appearance of the ministry’s logo in the document suggests otherwise, suggests that it is one of my ministry’s programs." The Minister was speaking one day before the letter of objection was sent to APP.

The minister said that APP had consulted with the ministry as part of the masterplan drafting process. This, she said, was perfectly acceptable as the government was open to discussion with everyone. However, it was not acceptable for APP to use the ministry’s logo on a document that was not an official ministry publication.

"Do not unilaterally use the ministry’s logo without going through the proper procedures. This is clearly in violation of the rules. Obviously, I cannot accept that. The masterplan is not part of our ministry’s work program, that’s the point that I want to make clearly. The masterplan is an initiative of APP. So, don’t use my ministry’s logo on the masterplan. It must be removed immediately," said the minister.

Dolly Priatna, APP’s Head of Conservation, said the company would issue a written response to the letter within the next week.

"The Belantara Foundation, which is a foundation that was recently established by APP, has asked Yapeka (a foundation that prepared the masterplan), to explain the masterplan preparation process to the Ministry. This is because it was Yapeka that was responsible for the process from start to finish, including the preparation of documents relating to the Ministry," said Dolly, who provided foresthints.news with a written statement on Thursday (Feb 11) in response to a request for APP’s reaction to the minister’s letter.

He said that the Belantara Foundation would accept whatever decision was made by the ministry as regards the use of the ministry logo and director-general's foreword in the masterplan.