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Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas adopts a landscape level approach to forest management. This means we look beyond just our own concession boundaries and take a truly collaborative approach toward the protection, rehabilitation, and restoration of Indonesia's forests because every tree we preserve is growing our tomorrow.
Forest Protection and Restoration Commitment
When Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas embarked on its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), we understood that ending natural forest clearance alone would not be enough to achieve our sustainability vision.
The FCP implementation on the ground has taught us that traditional models of forest conservation do not work and that merely protecting areas inside our suppliers’ concessions is not enough. Following careful consultation with our stakeholders, we realized that we need to look beyond our supplier concessions and consider the opportunities, threats, and impacts of the wider landscapes within which those suppliers sit. By doing this, we will give our Forest Conservation Policy and its Zero Deforestation ambition the best chance of success in the long term.
The forest protection and restoration commitment, therefore, offers critical support to our FCP.
The challenges inherent in this effort cannot be overstated. To act outside of our direct sphere of influence, we will need to engage a wide range of stakeholders: from communities, NGOs, government, to the industry. This will require an unprecedented level of multi-stakeholder collaboration and a commitment from all parties to protect, preserve, and restore Indonesia’s forests.
No other company has tried to implement a conservation commitment on this scale, so there is no single blueprint to follow. Instead, we work closely with partners and stakeholders to design, implement, and test our programs, as well as developing best practices along the way.
More about Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas Forest Protection and Restoration can be found at Sustainability Dashboard.
Through our Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), we are committed to supporting the Government of Indonesia in achieving its low emissions development goals and emissions reduction targets. A major component of that commitment comes from our pledge to protect forested peatlands and ensure best practice peatland management across our business operations and suppliers to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the peatland landscapes in which our pulpwood suppliers operate.
In keeping with this commitment, we require our pulpwood suppliers to halt further development of plantation, canals, and other infrastructures within undeveloped suppliers’ concessions on non-forested peatland until independent High Conservation Values (HCV) assessments, including input from peat experts, are completed. Any future development plans in these areas will also be subject to ‘best practice’ management prescriptions.
These best practices are developed by our Peatland Expertise Team (PET), which was established in January 2014. The PET comprises internationally recognized experts from Deltares (a Dutch institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface, and infrastructure) and Euroconsult Mott MacDonald (an international development consultancy working primarily in developing countries and economies in transition). The PET members all have peatland experience in Indonesia.
The development of Best Management Practices (BMP) is a process comprising two phases with several sequential steps each building upon the previous.
The PET completed its 3-month inception phase in June 2014 and delivered a report that outlined a process for the development of BMP for peatland as well as identifying a range of issues that would form the framework for the second phase of the project.
Following the Inception Phase report, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas and the PET worked to establish the terms of reference (ToR) for the second phase of the peat project. In December 2014, the ToR was completed and Deltares was appointed to lead the second phase of the peat project. The objective of the second phase is to develop and implement BMPs for peat landscapes in and around Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas suppliers’ concessions.
In 2022, APP Sinar entered into a partnership for Peatland management with Winrock International in the TORA area approximately 4,000 ha located in Siak district, Riau province. The program has pilot project covering an initial area of 500 hectares and focusing on 9 villages. This partnership aims to implement the Green District Strategy,which encourage communities to engage in land development while prioritizing the
conservation and preservation of deep peatlands. This includes incorporating the cultivation of wetland-friendly crops to provide income opportunities for local communities.
Currently, the project is in its initial development phase, with the implementation team working closely with local communities to strengthen institutional capacity and drafting a comprehensive masterplan. The project is also involving many key stakeholders, with the intention of eventually scaling up the initiatives to a landscape or jurisdictional level.
Significant progress was made in the restoration of Peatland and the discovery of new species in the restoration efforts. Retirements were carried out in Tri Pupa Jaya and Satria Perkasa Agung,covering an area of 7,000 hectares, which led to the discovery of new species, namely Lophopetalum tanahgambut and Disepalum rawagambut (Annonaceae), which were previously unknown.
Conserving Indonesia's Key Species
Our conservation program focuses on three priority species of fauna: Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, and orangutan, with a specific objective to maintain the level of wild populations of each species within our pulpwood supplier concessions. To achieve this objective, we track population numbers, map distributions, minimize human-wildlife conflicts, establish ecological corridors within and between concessions.
Sumatran Tiger Conservation
In collaboration with partners, we improved tiger habitats to reach a viable population level and avoid extinction. On average, five cubs are born in suppliers' concession areas annually, based on data since 2013, demonstrating that the habitats provide a safe environment for tiger breeding. Through establishing wildlife corridors and conducting camera trap surveys, we can track tiger population and movement patterns. From this data, we can estimate the proportion of a given area that tigers occupy. We can then develop a predictive distribution map for tigers and promote supportive conditions for tigers in APP supplier concessions. Human-tiger conflict mitigation is dealt with by a specialist team. The team also conducts regular education programmes and raises awareness of tiger conservation with field workers and communities.
APP was involved with the first-ever monitoring framework of the Sumatra-Wide Tiger Surveys (SWTS), initiated by Indonesian NGOs. The non-profit organisation, SINTAS Indonesia, carried out SWTS in APP concessions. The project closely monitored tigers on 27 grid cells covering an area of 289 km2 (17x17 km). It forms part of a long-term tiger population monitoring programme of the Government of Indonesia, supporting its National Tiger Recovery Programme (NTRP) that aims to double the number of Sumatran tigers by 2022.
Our partners in tiger conservation include the government, the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Forum (Forum HarimauKita), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and SINTAS Indonesia and Sumatran Tiger Conservation Foundation (Yayasan Pelestarian Harimau Sumatera).
Sumatran Elephant Conservation
To ensure conservation of Sumatran elephants, our mission is to create and maintain viable habitation conditions in APP’s pulpwood supplier concessions. Elephant feeding stations were built in our suppliers’ concessions to provide a food source and reduce the risk of elephants entering community settlements searching for food, as well as to create opportunities for population monitoring. An expert team manages human-elephant conflicts, educating communities and overseeing anti-poaching patrols. Our partners include the government, the Indonesian Wildlife Conservation Foundation (Yayasan Konservasi Satwa Liar Indonesia), the Indonesian Elephant Conservation Forum (Forum Konservasi Gajah Indonesia), and the Belantara Foundation.
We back initiatives to raise awareness on orangutan conservation and reduce humans-orangutan conflict with helping to support and enforcing our zero-tolerance policy on harming endangered species. We work alongside several partners on orangutan conservation—the National Resources Conservation Agency, Kutai National Park, Mulawarman University, the Orangutan Foundation International, The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop), International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia and Ecology and Conservation Center for Tropical Studies (ECOSITROP).
Sustainable Forest Management
The Integrated Sustainable Forest Management Plan (ISFMP) is one of our key initiatives that help realize our Forest Conservation Policy commitments. The ISFMP was developed through a long collaborative process that involved compiling and consolidating data as well as recommendations gathered through various assessments such as High Conservation Value (HCV), High Carbon Stock (HCS), Social Conflict Mapping, the legal requirements and obligations, as well as input from all relevant stakeholders including local communities, government, academia, and civil societies. Each Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas supplier must produce an ISFMP to ensure that our FCP commitments have been considered and adhered to.
Each integrated plan will form the blueprint for the sustainable management of our land resources in each of our supplier concessions. The ISFMPs equip each supplier with action plans for improving sustainability and management practices.
Each ISFMP comprises several essential elements. It sets long-term forest management goals for each Forest Management Unit (FMU), which take into account environmental and socio-economic pre-conditions, and the status of land rights. It also provides an action plan to help the FMU address all aspects of forest conservation and management: silviculture, harvesting, environmental management, and identification and protection of rare and endangered species of fauna and flora. Finally, the ISFMP will provide updated maps of the concession that identify protected areas, location of forest management activities and land rights status in all of our supplier concessions.
More about Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas Integrated Sustainable Management Plan can be found at Sustainability Dashboard.
Integrated Fire Management
The occurrence of forest fires is a complex global issue that affects both local communities and the environment. The complex nature of the problem necessitates a multi-stakeholder approach that is at the heart of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas’ approach.
We place great emphasis on working closely with our pulpwood suppliers, local communities and relevant stakeholders to prevent and mitigate such land and forest fires.
Our Integrated Fire Management (IFM) system that was implemented in January 2016 is based on global best practices for fire management that comprises four pillars: prevention, preparedness, early detection, and rapid response.
Our IFM has seen us evolve from a reactive fire-fighting force to one that is ready to tackle fires as they happen and able to prevent these fires from spreading. Engaging suppliers and local communities, we now have a system that can help prevent fires from occurring.
This is in addition to a strict zero burning policy that was implemented to all of its pulpwood suppliers, a policy that all our current and prospective suppliers must abide by.
Our fire-fighting efforts are complemented by an agroforestry program aimed at providing alternative forms of livelihoods for local communities in and around our concessions. Alternatives promoted in our Integrated Forestry and Farming System (IFFS), such as vegetable and fruit farming, and rearing livestock, are designed to reduce communities’ dependence on primary forests and promote environmentally-friendly farming methods that do not utilize slash-and-burn methods to clear land. Launched in 2015, the IFFS program goes further than education, providing technical and financial assistance to embrace these methods. The IFFS aims to reach 500 villages in and around our concessions.
We are concurrently working closely with communities to strengthen the local firefighting councils, or Masyarakat Peduli Api (MPA), to enable them to play larger roles in fire prevention that include more frequent ground patrols. MPAs that manage to maintain zero fires in their forests will be awarded monthly cash incentives.
We have also continued our effort in Perimeter Canal Blocking that has seen water levels at high-risk areas raised to prevent fires from spreading, and also to serve as a water source for in the event of a fire.
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas and our pulpwood suppliers have in their employ 2,670 firefighters and 6 medium and large capacity helicopters on standby for water-bombing in the event of a fire. Following global best practice, training is provided for this firefighting force to build sharpness and confidence ahead of the dry season.
We have engaged international fire management experts to provide Incident Command System (ICS) training, a complementary move to the development of individual and team competence, to emphasize the importance of coordinating ground and aerial firefighting efforts.
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas conducts thermal imaging trials as part of its continual efforts to improve fire detection capabilities. Thermal imaging data is considerably more accurate than satellite imagery and has an on-ground accuracy that can pinpoint a fire within 50 meters of its real ground position. This first-of-its-kind initiative in fire detection and mapping has seen thermal camera-equipped planes capturing data that is relayed to headquarters and field staff within 15 minutes.
Eyes on the ground remain the best method of spotting fires, and to complement our use of technology, the fire patrols, known locally as Regu Pemadam Kebakaran (RPK), conduct regular rounds. Their responses follow the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s Fire Danger Rating System. The frequency of patrol is determined by the level of fire risk faced in each area designated to each patrol, but this average frequency has been increased across the board for added protection.
To fortify our efforts on the ground and compliment the training provided on ICS, response to fire incidents will be coordinated by both ground and aerial firefighting efforts. A heavy helicopter carrying up to 3,500 liters of water will be used for rapid response, giving our ground forces a little extra time to arrive at a fire.