APP welcomes the Task Force evaluation of the systemic problem of wildfires and their causes, across Indonesia, as independent oversight is an essential part of addressing this issue.
Tackling wildfires and illegal encroachment inside our suppliers’ concession areas is a priority for us as we seek to protect our plantations as well as our conservation areas.
In 1996 we introduced a no-burn policy to all of our suppliers and in 2013, we suspended all natural forest clearance and peatland development across all our suppliers’ concessions. We have also recently introduced processes for resolving land conflicts and are carrying out work to ensure we manage peatlands according to best practice.
We are currently engaging with our suppliers to help them develop their action plans to further improve systems for addressing wildfires. Our suppliers have extensive fire crews trained to spot and tackle fires when they occur, and to manage hydrology in peatlands to reduce fire risks.
To be effective, this type of evaluation by the government Task Force needs to be strengthened through public consultation on the development of the indicators as well as a stakeholder review of the initial findings, with a clear objective to find solutions involving all parties. The monitoring of compliance is important but the private sector, NGOs, governments and communities, must work together to create viable short and long term solutions for the landscape.