APRIL Group’s business vision is centred on the belief that responsible development can build a better future for Indonesia, helping local people to break out of the poverty cycle and improve their lives. Operating sustainably is essential to achieving this vision, where sustainability is defined as using resources to meet human needs while ensuring the sustainability of natural systems and environments today and into the future. That is why sustainability resides at the core of our values and aspirations.
Since 2005, APRIL Group has committed to the conservation of environmentally valuable forest within our concession areas. We have conducted 37 High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments using the HCV Indonesia Toolkit. As a result, we currently conserve and protect more than 250,000 hectares of HCV forest inside our concession areas.
In addition, we also secure and restore forest areas that have been previously degraded by others. On the Kampar Peninsula, we are in the process of restoring 40,000 hectares of high conservation value forest in two different areas of the Peninsula.
These conservation and eco-restoration areas sit within the 1 million hectares allocated to APRIL Group for forestry under concessions granted by the Indonesian government. Of this area, a total of 480,000 hectares is set aside for sustainable plantation. First planted in 1993, it is home to third and fourth generation renewable plantation. The remaining land is set aside for community use and infrastructure.
Find out more about our Eco-Restoration efforts.
We are ever mindful that some of our granted concession areas reside on peatland, which stores carbon. We take a science-based approach to managing peatland, ensuring water levels are optimised and release of carbon stocks is minimised over the long term, while ensuring that our operations complement the broader social and economic development aims of the fast-growing Riau Province.
Find out more about our Peatland Management.
Integrated plantation management is central to our conservation efforts, where we implement ‘ring plantations’ as a way to protect conservation forest from encroachment and degradation. It works by establishing an Acacia plantation on the periphery of our concessions, creating a buffer zone that helps to conserve the core conservation forest area making illegal logging and human encroachment less likely while also working to conserve wildlife living in the interior.
The ring plantation approach generates an economic return as well as the resources and employment opportunities to support the livelihood of local communities. In this way, we are working to achieving a balance between renewable plantation and conservation and protection.
Indonesia has about 131 million hectares of forest. The Indonesian Government has set aside 53 million hectares of that for conservation and protection forests and 78 million hectares for production forests.
Of the area set aside for production purposes, the Government has designated 10.5 million hectares for industrial forest plantation, which includes plantations used to produce raw materials for pulp and paper, building materials and furniture. Less than half is used for pulp and paper plantations. The balance 67.5 million hectares of the total production forest area is used for agriculture, including palm oil plantations, rubber plantations, and also for infrastructure and residential purposes.
Of the 78 million hectares set aside for production forests, APRIL Group has been granted 1 million hectares of concession area, of which 480,000 hectares are plantations. Our land concessions account for just 1.3% of the total production forest areas – and our plantations are only 0.6 per cent of total production forest areas (or 0.4 per cent of the total forest in Indonesia).
The harsh reality in Indonesia is that large areas of protected forests are deforested through illegal logging, illegal plantations and human encroachment. Private sector conservation carried out by APRIL Group adds conservation areas that are well protected. Plantations improve the productivity of already degraded land and improves tree cover overall.