On 15th August 2018 , we received a group students and teachers from Sakado High School to the facilities of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in Perawang. The school has been sending their students to the facility since 2014 for them to learn and understand the pulp and paper production process, whilst ensuring forest conservation in Indonesia compromised.
We began the tour in the morning by visiting the Arboretum conservation area of PT Arara Abadi, APP's pulpwood supplier. We met the Head of Arboretum, Johannes and he explained the purpose and function of the Arboretum. He also explained what are the government regulations for a conservation area by a forestry company in Indonesia. The students other than being impressed with the explanation also learned about the co-existence of biodiversity, research and development, and eco-tourism in the conservation area.
The students then met with an elephant and were privileged to feed the elephant with sugarcanes. This could be a once in a lifetime experience for the some of the students, being up and personal with an elephant.
[The student feeding an elephant female on Arboretum, conservation area of Arara Abadi]
From Arboretum we then took them to visit the eucalyptus plantation in Rasau Kuning District where they took the opportunity to enjoy a bird's eye view of the plantation from APP's Fire Observation Tower. Although some of them had a fear for heights, they all made it to the top of the tower.
Moving on, we visited the Integrated Forestry and Farming System (IFFS) village, where we met with Suryono, a farmer and member of IFFS social economy program. He shared his experience as a horticultural farmer and how the company supports him with training, capacity building, and marketing forhis product. Coincidentally, it was his birthday when we visited him and all the students sang and wished him luck & prosper.
[We were at Suryono’s farm]
After lunch, we continued our trip to Indah Kiat Perawang Mill, where the students visited pulp and paper production from storage of pulpwood at the log yard, wood chipping process, and converting facilities.The trip ended at the nursery and research & development centerand our researcher from Arara Abadi, Suharyanto, explained the entire process to the students in Japanese, which of course got them all excited, prompting more questions.
[Atanu from Indah Kiat Perawang Mill explained the process to students at wood chip yard]
[Nursery Facilitiesof APP's pulpwood supplier, PT. Arara Abadi]
Mizuki Fukuda, student of Sakado High School said “The visit has given me tremendous experience. I could have a good opportunity to learn about forest and understand the process of pulp and paper production. And looking the plantation from the observation tower was really shocking because it is amazingly beautiful.”
“Visiting the farmers is my favorite, because basically I don’t have access to local communities in Indonesia. I learned that APP has a very effective program to improve local communities’ livelihoods together with protecting and maintaining forest areas.” added Kenichi Yoshida, teacher of Sakado High School.
We are glad that through this one day tour, we were able to provide our visitors with a personal experience of APP’s environmental practices, which forms an integral part of the company’s pulp and paper production.
Martin Fernando – Stakeholder Engagement