masthead sustainability eco restoration


Responsible forestry is key to our operations


The Kampar Peninsula and Padang Island are situated on the East Coast of Sumatra’s Riau Province. These areas are a set of delicate and unique peat swamp ecosystems, featuring tropical biodiverse forests residing on thick waterlogged layers of peat.

In May 2013, APRIL Group announced a multi-year ecosystem restoration programme known as Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER). The RER program began with an initial 20,265 hectares on the Kampar Peninsula which has expanded to over 150,693 hectares situated in Kampar Peninsula and Padang Island, comprised of five 60-year ecosystem restoration concession licenses granted by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

These 60-year ecosystem restoration licenses fall under a new government forest management unit scheme that aims to achieve ecosystem balance through the restoration of biotic and abiotic elements to optimise ecosystem function and productivity. RER also establishes the foundation for a model of active collaboration between a diverse set of partners working together for a common environmental purpose.

APRIL Group provides financial, technical and resource assistance to RER to support the restoration and long-term protection of the area. At the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris in December 2015, APRIL Group pledged USD100 million to initiate the programme during the first 10 years of the license period to support conservation and restoration of the RER area.

The RER project follows four tracks:

  1. Protecting the landscape and natural capital from degradation
  2. Assessing the ecosystem and the social environment
  3. Restoring the hydrology, native plant and wildlife species
  4. Managing the area long-term to sustain biodiversity and community life

RER brings technical expertise from leading global and national NGOs including Flora & Fauna International (FFI) – the world’s oldest established international conservation body – who began conducting biodiversity and social surveys and High Conservation Value assessments in 2015. Meanwhile, in 2016, The Nature Conservancy – a leading global leading conservation organisation – completed a scoping and assessment phase to develop and design an Integrated Landscape Management process, while Bidara – an Indonesian social development organisation – is working to empower communities within the restoration area and supporting the establishment of alternative livelihoods.

Much progress has been made since the program’s establishment, including:

  • Training and deploying 50 locally hired forest rangers to protect the eco-restoration area, equipped with skills and knowledge of forest survival, land navigation, search and rescue, basic skills of forest inventory and vegetation analysis, fire fighter and fire danger rating, effective patrol, and community awareness.
  • Providing routine ground and aerial surveillance through patrols and use of CCTV to monitor forest area and prevent potential threats. This is especially important with limited and challenging access to RER area.
  • Working together with local authorities to detect activities such as illegal logging operations, encroachment and wildlife poaching in the adjacent wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Publishing a biodiversity inventory based on transects and camera trap survey, and conducting the High Conservation Values assessment in Kampar Peninsula, establishing a baseline for future measurement.
  • Carrying out forest restoration through planting, assisted natural regeneration and natural succession with more than 50 various native species.
  • Closing old drainage canals using sand bags for restoring hydrology and maintaining peat moisture.
  • Promoting no-burn agro-forestry farming through field training and practical implementation on community land.
  • Conducting stakeholder consultations with neighboring villages for the future sustainable management of peatland of the wider Kampar Peninsula and Padang Island.
  • Delivering training for responsible hunting and fishing of non-protected species to local communities to keep their customary practices in meeting their daily needs.

Through its activity, RER commits to delivering the comprehensive ecosystem restoration of ecologically important peat forest areas on the Kampar Peninsula and Padang Island and meeting the area’s environmental, economic and social needs in a responsible way.

Further details of the RER programme can be found at Rekoforest.