US-based CSO says APP has long road to go before ridding itself of controversy

(foresthints.news) - Responding to the third anniversary of the introduction of APP's Forest Conservation Policy, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a San Francisco-based CSO, said that APP needed a medium- to long-term time horizon to generate the sort of improved outcomes on the ground that are anticipated in the FCP.

RAN highlighted the massive peat fires that occurred across pulpwood plantation concessions in South Sumatra Province that supply APP, which resulted in toxic smoke and haze, and the bringing of legal actions from the Indonesian and Singaporean governments, as well as civil society groups, and a boycott of APP products in Singaporean supermarkets. As a consequence, RAN said, APP continues to be considered controversial.

"The events of 2015, coupled with ongoing land conflict issues, show that APP has a long way to go before ridding itself of its image as a controversial supplier of pulp and paper products," RAN's Asia Director, Lafcadio Cortesi, said in a press release.

Lafcadio also questioned the production capacity and long-term wood supply for planned new APP mills in South Sumatra Province, a province where APP-linked concessions contributed significantly to the 2015 haze crisis.

"The lack of clarity on these matters also results in APP being considered a controversial supplier of pulp and paper products," said Lafcadio.

In the press release, RAN concluded that APP's operations continue to reflect a lack of outcomes and a legacy of environmental destruction, social conflict and murky corporate governance that requires ongoing scrutiny and independent verification of progress.

Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at APP, said in an APP press release that "looking ahead, we are ready to learn from our experience and to further collaborate with other stakeholders in our landscape, in our country, and beyond, to try to create a better world for future generations."