Indonesia is facing its worst annual fire season since the tragedy of 2015. Close to 700 hotspots have been identified in fire-prone regions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and the Riau islands.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
A study published in August in the journal Environmental Research Letters reveals that more than half of the fire emissions originate from outside timber and oil-palm concession boundaries. Several studies have shown a similar finding, which is that the dominant cause of fire in both Sumatra and Kalimantan is rural communities. Only targeting plantation companies as the government and NGOs are doing at the moment won’t work. The Indonesian fire and haze problem is complex, with multiple actors playing a role. To address the problem, the government should be more specific in its management, including law enforcement, localized approaches, taking the costs of development into consideration.
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a long-time target of environmental campaigners, committed in February 2013 to protect and restore a million hectares of forest across Indonesia under its Forest Conservation Policy. This video presented by Tony Juniper, an advisor to APP, highlights key aspects of the policy. The policy requires its suppliers to not only protect natural forest resources, but also biodiversity and human rights. APP has worked with The Forest Trust (TFT) to help develop and implement the policy. And the company has adopted the High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment, developed by the Forest Stewardship Council, to ensure the values of natural forest are fully understood. APP is also adopting High Carbon Stock (HCS) survey to understand the location of big stocks of carbon. The restoration commitment of APP targets nine “landscape” across Sumatra and Kalimantan, regions where the company sources its fibre.
By declaring its intention to restore and support conservation of one million hectares of natural forest and other ecosystems in Sumatra and Kalimantan, APP has substantially strengthened the Forest Conservation Policy it announced in February 2013. WWF Indonesia said “we remain cautious of these new developments but we are encouraged with the level of ambition, which is unprecedented.” WWF’s tacit support of the restoration pledge reveals the extent of this engagement. It was only last month that WWF issued a brief to paper buyers warning them to wait to resume business with APP.
TFT published the following statement on their website with the full report: ‘TFT has carried out a thorough technical study into alleged allegations of APP suppliers clearing forest in West Kalimantan Province and has produced the below report which shows no evidence of any violation of APP's forest clearance moratorium.’
Greenpeace Indonesia claim that vast regions have been deforested despite the two-year moratorium on deforestation coming into effect in May 2011. The bulk of deforestation has taken place in Kalimantan and Papua – coal concessions having already been granted prior to the moratorium in the former, and pre-existing logging concessions in the latter. The Indonesian government denies the claims and has invited Greenpeace to explain its methodology.