Riau lauds app forest conservation policy

Riau lauds app forest conservation policy

Photo document of the pulp and paper industry.

"Forest management should be beneficial to all parties."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Riau Forestry Agency has expressed appreciation for the Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) group`s commitment to applying a sustainability policy based on high conservation value forest (HCVF) principles.

Chief of Riau Provincial Forestry Office Zulkifly Yusuf said here on Sunday that the workers and heavy equipment, normally used for logging of natural forests in APP`s concessions region, had been moved to the plantation forest areas.

"We appreciate the company`s policy in applying the HCVF principles. So far, there has been no logging in the natural concessions area. They have moved the workers and heavy equipment like bulldozers to their plantation areas, and now they are focusing on those areas," he stated.

Zulkifly said the forestry agency had continuously monitored the area since the paper company announced that it would adopt sustainable logging principles and suspend its natural woods logging activities starting June 1.

"We will evaluate the company`s policy on an ongoing basis," he added.

Zulkifly urged paper companies to follow APP`s steps and supplier companies to stop selling natural timber.

APP raw material supplier company PT Putra Khatulistiwa Jaya director Hartono said the company had no objections to APP`s decision.

As a pulp supplier, Hartono added, the company was committed to managing a sustainable forest, taking into account the social and cultural aspects of the surrounding environment.

"Forest management should be beneficial to all parties - the community, the state, and the company. This principle is a part of our company`s development strategy so we can ensure that we are supplying legal pulpwood to APP," Hartono said.

Asia Pulp and Paper`s Managing Director for Sustainability Aida Greenbury said HCVF principles were applied in APP`s business policies to ensure for customers a product with high environmental integrity and social values.

The HCVF-based policies are related to concessions held by the company in Indonesia, which will start with a few measures, including the temporary suspension of forest clearing by APP, starting June 1, 2012.

HCVF assessments will involve experts and efforts to protect all areas identified as high conservation value forests.

The assessment of the overall concessions in Riau and Jambi is targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2013.