PEFC-certified wood is at the heart of the new Gold-rated Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) building in Berlin, Germany. From wooden doors and furniture fittings, to roofing and wooden windows, wood originating from sustainably managed, PEFC-certified forests can be found throughout the new building. In March 2015, the new BMBF building was awarded the Gold Standard by BNB (Sustainable Building Rating System; a Sustainable Building Guide for Federal Building). To achieve such a high rating, at least 80% of all the wood-based products used in the construction had to originate from a sustainably managed forest and come with a recognized certificate – such as a PEFC.
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.