The Jakarta Post
A major pulp and paper company, the APRIL Group, plans to double its peatland restoration activities in Indonesia to 150,000 hectares and invest US$100 million over the next decade in conservation and restoration activites.
This increased commitment to Riau Ecosystem Restoration (RER) is believed to be the biggest investment by a private sector company in a single eco-restoration project in Indonesia, covering assessment, restoration and protection, and management and partnerships.
'This commitment illustrates how private sector organizations can support climate goals not just in terms of pledges, but by going beyond them and actually putting resources on the table,' Tony Wenas, the managing director of the APRIL Group's Indonesia operations said in a press statement.
The plan was announced in Paris Tuesday when world's leaders met to take part in the UN climate conference known as COP21 to finalize a global climate treaty.
'This investment indicates our broader business case for restoration that encompasses the value of the ecosystem services and the need to have an inclusive approach with the community,' said Anderson Tanoto, shareholder of the APRIL Group and RGE director.
The RER restoration area has been largely protected from burning during the last fire and haze season, one of the worst to have hit Southeast Asia, which indicates the effectiveness of APRIL's landscape approach, supporting the case for further investment.
The APRIL Group's conservation and restoration activities delivered and committed now account for 400,000 ha ' 150,000 in restoration and 250,000 in conservation ' of forest in Indonesia, an area close to six times the size of Singapore, while nearly matching its commercial plantation area. This one-for-one goal of conservation to plantation is one of the commitments made by the company under its strengthened Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) announced six months ago, which ensured deforestation was eliminated from its supply chain.
The RER program, which was established by the APRIL Group in partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and local NGO Bidara in 2013, protects and restores important peatland areas on the Kampar Peninsula in Indonesia's Riau province under eco-restoration licenses granted by the Indonesian government.