APP signs on to environmental agreement

Paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), is joining the Mangrove Ecosystem Restorement Alliance (Mera), an Indonesian sustainability platform aiming to protect and restore mangrove ecosystems across the country.

As part of the agreement, APP Signar Mas is donating IDR 4.2bn, equivalent to $395,800 to the programme over five years.

The Mera initiative was launched by Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) and the Jakarta Natural Resources Conservation Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry a couple of weeks ago. Its goal is to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities, natural resources and vital assets by 2022, by promoting effective management and implementing strategies to conserve and restore mangrove landscapes.

[Related: APP awarded for sustainability efforts]

Ms Elim Sritaba, director for Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement at APP Sinar Mas says, “As a forestry business, APP understands the long-term value of protecting and conserving critical natural landscapes. By joining the Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance, we are contributing not only to the preservation of valuable ecosystems, but also this is important as this initiative is closely aligned with our sustainability vision.”

In its Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020 plan, APP Sinar Mas is laying out specific commitments to support reforestation, conservation and biodiversity as well as climate change. The company says it has been investing in these areas for the last five years, working to identify and protect more than 600,000ha of natural forest across its supplier concessions. By supporting projects like MERA, APP says it is able to extend its sustainability efforts beyond its concession borders.

In its first phase, Mera plans to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities, natural resources and vital assets by 2022, by promoting effective management and implementing strategies to conserve and restore mangrove landscapes.

Rizal Algamar, chairman of the board of management at environmental group YKAN says, “Indonesia has almost a quarter of the world’s mangrove forests. These mangrove forests are especially important to protect because they provide services for coastal protection, nursery and spawning ground for marine biota, migratory bird sanctuary, carbon sequestration and community livelihood. Now they are threatened by unintegrated coastal development and aquaculture. It is a monumental task, but through MERA, we are able to bring together support from national stakeholders, including the private sector, to protect and restore these ecosystems.”

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