Asia Pulp & Paper commits to end Indonesian rainforest destruction

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the company at the center of a decades-long campaign against its logging activities, committed to end all deforestation of natural forests on Tuesday.

The company published a new "Forest Conservation Policy" on Tuesday committing it to end development of all natural forested areas, including peat forests, improve its peatland management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and work more closely with local communities and other stakeholders.

Crucially, the stated strategy applies to all APP operations and all of its suppliers, as well as "all future expansion" and "any Indonesian fibre utilised by APP's mills elsewhere, including China." In addition, the new strategy will be subject to a series of independent assessments.

APP has in the past published a series of environmental commitments that have been dismissed as "greenwashing" by campaigners, but Greenpeace, which has led many of the protests against the company, welcomed the new strategy.

"We commend APP for making this commitment to end deforestation," said Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace's Forest Campaign in Indonesia, adding that the NGO would now be monitoring its progress closely to ensure the commitments are honored. "If APP fully implements its new policies it will mark a dramatic change in direction, after years of deforestation in Indonesia."

Photo of deforestation in Indonesia provided by Aidenvironment via Wikimedia Commons.

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