Canopy takes on Indonesian rainforest loss

The forests of Indonesia are of global significance. Canopy is working to conserve Indonesia’s rainforests, species and the world’s climate.

Canopy is building a powerbase of international customers and ambassadors that are supportive of solutions for Indonesia’s rainforests, animals and communities. By helping the world’s publishersprinters, clothing brands and other large companies develop and implement environmental policies that prohibit the use of pulp from these important forests, Canopy can help save these important places.

Working along side these customer companies we are creating market incentives for landmark conservation initiatives such as British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. In coordination with local NGO partners, we galvanize this international support of local conservation efforts.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Orangutan_Indonesia_KSauve_DSC7224September 22, 2014
Photo by K. Sauve

 

Logging giants respond to market expectations

After years of environmental and social justice campaigning, in February 2013, Indonesia’s largest forestry company, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), committed to eliminate its practice of deforestation. APP has subsequently amended its Forest Conservation Policy to address other important ecological and social issues and in it commits to:

  • Immediately cease deforestation in its operations and ensure all fibre suppliers are not associated with deforestation – effective as of February 2013
  • Protect and sustainably manage High Conversation Value and High Carbon Stock forests
  • Restore and protect priority conservation landscapes in Indonesia
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emission by protecting peatlands and managing peatlands sustainably
  • Address social and land conflicts including implementing Free, Prior and Informed Consent with communities

APP marked the second anniversary of its Forest Conservation in February 2015 with a third-party audit of its progress to date. (See our blog about the status of APP’s policy implementation here) The audit, along with our own engagement of APP management, indicates that there is significant commitment from APP at the corporate level for its Forest Conservation Policy. However implementation of the policy on the ground is slow.

Slow progress on key milestones indicate that APP’s practices are not yet aligned with its policy. It is important for potential customers and investors to encourage APP management to focus on driving their policy and systems through to change on-the-ground over the next 12 months.

Royal Golden Eagle Group Launches Forest Commitment

Like APP, the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group has long been the target of international campaigns due to its extensive history of environmental, financial and social controversies. One instance saw 30 residents of the Pulau Padang community sew their mouths shut on the steps of the Indonesian Parliament to illustrate how their concerns were being silenced in their opposition to logging of their traditional territory.

In June 2015 RGE launched its Forestry, Fibre, Pulp and Paper Sustainability Framework that outlines major steps forward in sustainable development for the both the parent company RGE as well as its forestry related business units including viscose producer Sateri, dissolving pulp producer Toba Pulp Lestari, paper producer Asian Symbol and forestry giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL). Through this Sustainability Framework RGE and its business units and subsidiaries are committed to:

  • Immediately cease deforestation in its operations and ensure all fibre suppliers are not associated with deforestation – effective as of May 2015
  • Resolution of social and land conflicts and respect of communities rights to give or withhold Free, Prior and Informed Consent
  • Protect and sustainably manage High Conversation Value and High Carbon Stock forests
  • Restore and protect priority conservation landscapes in Indonesia with a focus on landscape level management
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emission by protecting peatlands and managing peatlands sustainably
  • Not source pulp or wood chips from ancient and endangered forests globally

Training Facility for Sumatran Elephants

While the framework is largely positive, there is still vast room for improvement including greater clarity around restoration of key ecosystems, remedial actions for existing social conflicts, commitment to alternative fibres and leadership on landscape-level conservation solutions. Concurrent with the release of RGE’s Sustainability Framework, APRIL, Indonesia’s second largest pulp and paper producer, launched a revised and more rigorous version of their forest policy (aptly named Sustainable Forest Management Plan 2.0). APRIL’s policy was followed closely by Sateri’s Wood and Pulp Sourcing Policy in mid June 2015.

It will take substantial change at all levels of the company to regain the trust of the marketplace but RGE are taking steps in that direction. It’s early days yet as we support the company’s management to translate their commitments into a change in practices. Again, potential customers and investors are urged to assess this company’s performance with caution until RGE’s commitments are third party audited as producing in tangible ecological and social results.