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Responsible Business Forum: April Group and their Efforts to Reduce Emissions through Sustainable Forestry and Agriculture

November 16, 2015

Responsible Business Forum 2015

At a panel session on Reducing Emissions through Sustainable Forestry and Agriculture, the Managing Director of APRIL Group, Mr Goh Lin Piao, spoke about APRIL’s approach towards sustainable forestry.

Being the second largest pulp and paper manufacturer in Asia, APRIL recognised the importance of peatland forest protection and eco-system restoration. In 2013, APRIL launched the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) restoration project.

Map of RER project

This project aimed to revitalise an initial 20,267 hectares of peat forest and restore forests which have been severely damaged by logging and encroachment. By using the landscape approach, APRIL brings together diverse stakeholders and aims to achieve a balance between multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives in the wider context of a particular region. Firstly, APRIL takes into account the communities living around the area of the restoration site, Kampar Peninsular in Riau Province, and aims to provide jobs (like training and engaging them as park rangers) and other requirements of the local community. Secondly, a buffer technique is used which forms a protective ring of plantation around its conservation core. These two methods minimize illegal logging and human encroachment of the protected forests.

APRIL also has a one-to-one commitment, in that it manages and protects a high-conservation value forest area which is equal in size to its plantation area.

During Q and A, a question was raised regarding how each company in the panel addressed its urgent issues and the perceived impact of their various approaches to forest management. Mr Goh stressed the point that unmanaged forests will be encroached. Therefore, APRIL believes in their landscape approach for the protection of the conservation core to prevent encroachment. With regards to urgent issues such as forest fires, he commented that prevention of forest fires is easier than trying to put them out. To that end, APRIL puts in place programs like educating and incentivising villagers to adopt no-burn policies.

APRIL’s approach to reducing emissions through sustainable forestry is illustrated through its RER restoration project and its sustainable practices in forestry management and corporate governance. Not only has APRIL managed to achieve significant results through its projects, its processes are also sustainable for a long term impact.

More information:

Responsible Business Forum: http://www.responsiblebusiness.com/blog/protecting-and-restoring-indonesian-peatland

APRIL Group: http://www.aprilasia.com

How APRIL Group is employing a landscape approach to restore peatland forest and integrate multiple ecosystem benefits through stakeholder collaboration: http://ankara.wbcsdservers.org/restoring-peatland-landscapes-through-partnerships/

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