Indonesia’s top two pulp and paper producers Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) have become certified to PEFC and its local partner, the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC).
The certification comes following the two paper giants receiving heavy criticism from environmental groups for harvesting the country’s natural forests to manufacture products.
Ben Gunneberg, chief executive of PEFC International, said: “The certification affords APP and APRIL’s products access to the PEFC label, providing a clear message to consumers worldwide that their products come from verified sustainable sources.
‘This achievement highlights the progress that local stakeholders have made in advancing sustainable forest management in the country.”
Certification was awarded to more than 600,000 hectares of forests following third-party audits to ensure their management practices are in line with the PEFC-endorsed IFCC standard requirements. The certificates are now valid for three years.
APP and APRIL have previously been PEFC-certified, however, certification was so far limited to Chain of Custody certification, meaning they imported PEFC-certified material from abroad to produce PEFC-certified products.
Following the endorsement of IFCC, both APP and APRIL are now able to certify their forest management practices and demonstrate that they are sustainable. “
Dradjad H. Wibowo, chairman of IFCC, said: “IFCC certification demonstrates not only that forests are managed sustainably, but it also responds to international market demands for responsibly-sourced products.
“It will therefore contribute to better market conditions for Indonesia’s certified forest products, create jobs, and ultimately contribute to the economic growth of our country – while at the same time safeguarding our precious forest resources.”
Gunneberg added: “Until now, most of the forest certification has occurred in the Western hemisphere, but the award of the first forest management certificates in Indonesia will help to reach the tipping point to mainstream certification in Asia.
“With a range of other countries, including India, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand engaging in standards development activities, with PEFC-endorsed systems already existing in China, Indonesia and Malaysia, and with Japan preparing to apply for PEFC-endorsement shortly, certification as a tool to demonstrate responsible practices is poised to become available to forest owners across the entire continent within a few short years.”