PEFC and the Handicraft & Wood Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) will work together to develop PEFC Chain of Custody certification in Viet Nam: this was one of the key results from a week of outreach in the country. PEFC-certified material from around the world is already used by many solid wood processing companies in Viet Nam - in particular by the furniture manufacturing members of HAWA. Focus is now switching to the development of a national forest certification system in the country, paving the way for the production of domestic PEFC-certified sources.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) today announced it is committing to retire around 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas to protect threatened carbon-rich peatlands, the first time that plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes worldwide.
Peatland development in Indonesia represents one of the single largest terrestrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world1. Retiring these plantation areas will help support the Government of Indonesia’s target of a 26 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.
The land marked for retirement is spread across five individual acacia plantation areas in Riau and South Sumatra which have been identified as requiring immediate rehabilitation following recommendations from the applied research institute Deltares. In line with APP’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process will be conducted for the five areas, before any retirement proceeds.
Today’s announcement is part of APP’s commitment to establish a science-based landscape approach for best practice peatland management that can be used by the Indonesian Government and plantation companies. It builds on the conservation pledges in the company’s FCP, which placed an immediate moratorium on all natural forests and new peatland development in February 2013.
As part of this approach, Deltares is working with APP to carry out the largest mapping exercise ever carried out on tropical peatland areas using LiDAR remote sensing technology. LiDAR, deployed from aircraft, allows Deltares to map around one quarter of all Indonesian peatland where APP’s suppliers are located. The area totals 4.5 million hectares, which compares to an area the size of Switzerland or the State of Pennsylvania. The resulting maps will be finalised in 2016.