WWF responds to APP's Conservation Assessments Announcement | WWF

WWF responds to APP's Conservation Assessments Announcement

Posted on 29 October 2004
Sumatra's forests - logged for the paper industry and cleared for Palm oil plantation.
Jakarta, Indonesia -- After decades of logging and destruction by the timber-based industry, some of Sumatra's last remaining natural forests may finally see some hope with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)'s announcement yesterday, said WWF Indonesia.   
The conservation organization is encouraged by APP's statement that the company will continue assessment of its forest concession in two additional areas in Riau, Sumatra, and stop logging while assessments are being done. With this announcement, APP has commited to protecting high conservation value forests (HCVFs) in four of its concession areas.  
The company's announcement that it will permanently protect all forests with high conservation values, and retain SmartWood to provide annual verification that conservation boundaries and values are maintained and enhanced, is also promising. WWF now looks forward to seeing APP turn these words into actions, and make a firm commitment to long-term independent monitoring of its activities in all four areas. Such a commitment will reassure stakeholders that APP is truly sincere in wanting to protect HCVFs found in these four areas.  
WWF also urges APP to make protection of HCVFs a global corporate policy. The company gets its fibre supply from natural forests in other parts of Indonesia. It has recently expanded to China, Indochina, Russia and Southeast Asia, sourcing fiber from many of the region's forests. WWF has yet to see APP commit to implementing logging moratorium and assessments in these forests, and calls on the company to ensure that none of its fibre supply comes from forests with high conservation values. It should require its suppliers to conduct similar HCVF assessments and adopt the "precautionary principle" - no logging while assessments are being done. 

WWF hopes that other companies relying on Sumatra's forests will immediately take similar steps as APP to protect the forests with high conservation values. The eyes of the world will now be on key companies such as APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited), Indonesia's second largest pulp and paper producer.   
With several major APP customers adopting global purchasing policies that support the protection of forests with high conservation values, it is now the turn for a major paper supplier like APP to also adopt a global policy that supports protection of HCVFs worldwide to meet demands for environmentally responsible products.   
For further information
Nazir Foead, WWF Indonesia, email: nfoead@wwf.or.id 
Note for editors
Please also see WWF Indonesia's press statement of 13 October 2004