One of the world’s largest producers of paper, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), has apologised to Indonesia’s Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) for submitting incomplete data to the agency.
But its resubmitted data provided to the agency on Monday was still incomplete, the BRG said in a statement a day later. The agency’s chief Nazir Foead has given APP until Friday afternoon to submit the data in full.
Nazir had told Indonesia’s foresthints.news last Friday that he welcomed the apology from APP.
“Pak Franky Widjaja has apologised to the peat agency for the inappropriate attitude adopted by the APP team with respect to the mechanism for submitting data to the peat agency. Of course, I welcome and appreciate this apology,” he said.
“The company’s owner also promised that the relevant data would be submitted as soon as possible at the beginning of next week to my deputy in charge of planning.”
Nazir said the data that his agency wanted was “essential as it shows the location of zones which are to be incorporated into protection zones”.
The BRG is creating a map that will identify priority restoration areas. Indonesian President Joko Widodo established the agency earlier this year to restore millions of hectares of peatlands damaged by many of years of forest fires.
Nazir said that the BRG is giving special attention to data derived from APP because almost 70 per cent of the company’s fibre supply chain in Sumatra alone is located in peatlands.
After receiving APP’s data, the BRG will immediately review it against the data already with them with particular focus on identifying peat protection zones for pulpwood concessions.
Earlier this week, APP came under sharp criticism from the BRG and Indonesia’s Environment and Forest Ministry for lying about submitting necessary data required as part of the agency’s restoration efforts.
The pulp and paper giant had said that it had submitted the relevant data to the Environment and Forestry Ministry on May 11. But Nazir said it was untrue. “We have undeniable evidence that the chronology provided by APP in its public statement constitutes a public lie,” he told foresthints.news.
In a response reported in a Channel News Asia report on June 10, APP’s vice-president of corporate affairs Jose Raymond did not directly address the accusation, but said that “APP will support all initiatives to protect forests and peatlands in Indonesia.”
In Singapore last year, major retailers blacklisted APP and removed their paper products from their shelves after their suppliers were linked to the record-breaking haze pollution generated from forest fires in Indonesia.
The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and the Consumers Association of Singapore had asked retailers to declare they have not procured or used wood, paper and/or pulp materials from the companies linked to the illegal burning.