Two key stakeholders of APRIL’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), Greenpeace and the WWF, have announced that they are suspending their engagement with the committee. The committee has been created to supervise the implementation of APRIL policy. However in the last months, implementation has been extremely slow, while the company has been found in major breaches, especially in the management of peatlands. Furthermore, on these issues the company has also proven little transparence, even towards the committee itself.
"APRIL has repeatedly and consistently misled SAC and its independent peat expert working group regarding the continued construction of canals in its concession areas in Pulau Padang - says a Greenpeace note
- "If the company cannot be trusted to provide accurate, clear and trustworthy information regarding its operations then there is simply no point in continuing to engage with it at this time."
Also WWF motivated its disengagement with a public statement:
"WWF continues to recommend that companies wait and see before sourcing from and investing in RGE/APRIL and their associated business entities, until there is truly independent third party verification that the RGE/APRIL group has made significant progress in implementation of “Forestry, Fibre, Pulp & Paper Sustainability Framework”, SFMP 2.0 and additional recommendations by NGOs to fill the policies’ gaps to address critical issues, including deforestation, pulping of HCV and HCS areas, peat development and long-standing social issues."
“APRIL’s management is not serious about implementing its own sustainability policy. APRIL is also lacking when it comes to following up on key issues surrounding the policy implementation,” Rusmadya Maharuddin, forest campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, told Foresthints.
According to the Greenpeace forest campaigner Rusmadya, the peat violations committed by APRIL are clearly unacceptable, considering that not only do these violations contravene APRIL’s own sustainability policy, but they are also not in line with Indonesia’s regulations. “Greenpeace has come to the conclusion that APRIL is not serious about its own sustainability policy at the implementation level. APRIL and its parent company, RGE, cannot be trusted to deliver their own commitments” said Rusmadya to Foresthints.
Just like Greenpeace, the WWF considers APRIL's compliance with its own sustainability policy in terms of its operations to be slow and non-transparent, with numerous peatland violations discovered on the ground.
“We are quite suspicious of APRIL because they never divulge complete and transparent information to us. APRIL also still frequently commits peatland violations. On this basis, we have decided to disengage with APRIL,” Aditya Bayunanda, WWF-Indonesia’s Forest Commodity Leader, told Foresthints.
He said that the WWF’s presence on APRIL’s SAC was at the request of APRIL’s own management, adding that it should be giving truthful information to the WWF, not vice versa.
“What’s the point of us engaging with APRIL’s SAC if they continue showing a lack of transparency with regard to their operations related to the implementation of APRIL’s sustainability policy?” asked Aditya.