New work plan of APRIL’s largest supplier approved 

(foresthints.news) - After having a strict sanction imposed on it for carrying out peat violations in late December last year, PT SRL, APRIL’s largest acacia supplier, finally had its revised work plan officially approved by the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry earlier this month (Feb 2).

The ministry granted its approval after the content of the revised work plan submitted by the pulpwood company was brought into alignment with Indonesia’s set of new peat regulations, especially with regard to peat recovery across its concessions which span more than 215,000 hectares, equivalent to 3 times the size of Singapore.

As previously reported by foresthints.news (Jan 15), the ministry also approved the revised work plan of PT RAPP (Jan 8), a pulp and paper company directly owned by APRIL, after the company lost a court battle concerning its obligation to produce a revised work plan consistent with the new peat regulations.

“Basically, approval for PT SRL’s revised work plan was expected to happen in the previous few months. However, this is still considered to be good progress,” the Ministry’s Secretary General Bambang Hendroyono explained to foresthints.news (Feb 5) at the ministry building.

He went on to say that the legal approval process is underway for the revised work plans of 12 pulpwood companies. “There are also 35 pulpwood companies which are still in the process of finalizing their revised work plans in accordance with the full directions of the ministry,” Bambang added.

“The majority (of companies whose revised work plans have yet to be approved) fall under the APRIL group,” the secretary general explained.

The following photos form part of the key findings regarding peat violations perpetrated by PT SRL uncovered when an inspection of its concession site in Riau’s Pulau Rupat was made in early December last year.

Peat recovery plans and business concerns

Now that its revised work plan has been approved, APRIL’s largest supplier PT SRL is obliged to perform peat recovery in its concession estates over an area in excess of 101,000 hectares which constitute peat protection zones. 

Furthermore, over 30,000 hectares of the undeveloped peat ecosystem spread among the pulpwood company’s concession fall into utilization zones, which are also not allowed to be developed into new acacia plantations.

Bambang pointed out his ministry’s current approach. “The ministry continues to exercise legally-based corrective measures to make sure that peat recovery and business continuation can go ahead while reinforcing each other.”

“And what must be ensured is that there must be no more haze originating from pulpwood plantations," Bambang emphasized.

PT SRL had its permit suspended because part of its concession in Riau’s Rupat Island was affected by 2015’s peat fires, and this particular concession is considered to be a yearly offender when it comes to peat fires. Meanwhile, in 2016, the APRIL company PT RAPP was also hit by a sanction from the ministry owing to peat fires in its concession in Riau’s Pulau Padang estate.

The ministry’s secretary general stressed that an integration of peat recovery and business continuation in the pulp and paper sector is also one of the key concerns of the government.

Bambang concluded by reiterating the current administration’s approach. “Such an integration will still be based on the improved peat governance benchmarks as a real response to 2015's devastating peat fires which have already significantly corrected Indonesia's economic growth. The message of our President is clear that this situation must not be repeated.