APP’s ‘landmark’ Indonesian forest plan attacked by Greenpeace

APP said it would suspend natural forest clearance on its Indonesian pulpwood plantations from 1 June and would then protect any areas that "credible experts" identified as High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF).

The paper giant also announced it would "review and re-evaluate supply agreements" with any of its independent pulpwood suppliers that didn't conduct HCVF assessments by the end of 2014.

APP's managing director of sustainability, Aida Greenbury, hailed the "landmark" decision as a win for the environment.

"It is the aim of APP’s policy to exclude HCVF from the supply chain," she said.

"Effective immediately, we are embarking on a bold program to ensure we can offer our customers products with the highest environmental and social integrity, and to ensure delivery of a shared vision for the global community."

But Greenpeace has attacked the decision as a "wasted opportunity".

Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya, Indonesia spokesman at the NGO, told ProPrint he was sceptical of APP's announcement as its "previous commitments aren’t worth the paper they’re written on".

"APP has been claiming for years that it is protecting high conservation value forests but has continued to clear them across Sumatra."

Soeriatanuwijaya was also dismissive of APP's claim its independent pulpwood suppliers in Indonesia would have to conduct HCVF assessments by the end of 2014.

"The small print of this latest APP commitment indicates that only a minority of its supply chain is to be included," said Soeriatanuwijaya.

"If APP were serious about its commitment to clean their supply chain of natural forest and peatland destruction, it would be easy to require compliance from all its suppliers immediately."

APP said it had a history of preserving "critical aspects of Indonesia’s precious natural resources, high conservation areas and biodiversity" and would provide regular reports on the progress of its new policy.

This is not the first time APP and Greenpeace have come to blows.

APP and Greenpeace exchanged salvos late last year in an attempt to discredit each other's research.

ProPrint then ran a poll that found 58% of respondents thought APP was the more trustworthy organisation, while 42% voted for Greenpeace

Meanwhile, ProPrint's UK-based sister title, PrintWeek, recently reported that APP was cleared by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry of illegally logging an endangered tree species after a Greenpeace investigation found ramin at one of its plants.

Click here to read ProPrint's interview with Aida Greenbury.

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