1. Precisely how much land/forest are you going to restore?
APP has made an ambitious commitment to protect and restore one million hectares of natural forest in Indonesia. The commitment, which takes the company well beyond its legal conservation requirements, is approximately equivalent to the total area of plantations in Indonesia, from which the company sources pulp fibre. Also, one million hectares is the approximate area of land that we believe requires restoration and/or conservation in the priority landscapes we have identified.
2. How are you proposing to restore it?
Restoration form a part of our Integrated Sustainable Forest Management Plans and will be carried out based on the recommendations of experts, including HCV, HCS, peatland and social experts, and relevant NGOs. To achieve the one million hectare target, we fund specific projects run by the Belantara Foundation - an Indonesian grant-making institution that works to protect the Indonesian landscape by establishing local sustainability projects in areas that are set aside for conservation, reforestation and sustainable community development - and other partners.
3. How will this initiative be funded?
Financing large, landscape-scale conservation programmes at this scale requires substantial, broad based funding and strong multi-stakeholder collaboration. Primary funding from APP alone – although this will be substantial – will not be enough. These forests are of global importance and financing their future is the responsibility of all businesses who benefit from them. We are currently looking at various independent – and transparent – funding mechanisms and will announce more details in due course.
4. Does the commitment include current conservation areas and government-mandatory set asides?
Our commitment is to protect and restore 1 million hectares in the identified landscapes. We are currently working with our partners, including Belantara, and other NGOs to develop a detailed plan of how this will be done.
5. How will APP protect any newly restored areas outside of APP’s concessions from future encroachment? Aren’t they just going to be encroached again?
This is a huge challenge and it is not one we undertake lightly. That’s why we’re emphasizing a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector, coordinated approach. We have consulted relevant stakeholders including communities, concession holders, local government and NGOs. This has resulted in the deployment of various strategies and initiatives such as the Integrated Forestry & Farming System (IFFS) programme and increased monitoring. We’ve strengthened our monitoring of forest change through the use of forest cover alert technology and on the ground monitoring networks of communities.
APP will continue to strengthen its forest protection efforts, particularly through involving communities. APP also is looking into new ways to improve the effectiveness of its patrol, such as improving the patrol routes based on the forest cover data received through MDA, as well as integrating SMART patrol concept to its suppliers’ forest security patrol.
6. What do you see as the biggest challenge in implementing this restoration commitment?
Coordination and engagement will be the biggest challenges. It’s an enormous undertaking and involves a lot of organisations as well as local communities. So, our challenge is going to be management as much as anything else.