Asia Pulp & Paper backs community-led Indonesian biofuels project
One of the world's biggest pulp, paper and packaging firms has announced its support for a new community-led pilot scheme aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing the availability of bio-fuels in Indonesia.
The jurisdictionally-based partnership between Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the Governor of West Kalimantan and the Belantara Foundation will find suitable land to be planted with a community crop through smallholder farmer co-operatives.
The Kemiri Sunan crop is rapidly emerging as a potential source of bio-fuel to supply Indonesia’s biodiesel programme and key export markets for bio-fuels such as the European Union (EU).
If harvested on an industrial scale, the yield could provide a new source of income to farmers in the local community and help to reduce the vulnerability of Indonesia’s forest to fire, degradation and deforestation.
"Green development that benefits both the environment and society has always been a goal under our Forest Conservation Policy commitment," said APP's managing director of sustainability, Aida Greenbury.
"We are committed to continuing our support and cooperation with the Government of the West Kalimantan province to support the realisation of a green and prosperous West Kalimantan Province.”
Kemiri Sunan’s high yield of up to 10 tonnes of oil per hectare make it an attractive source of bio-fuel, with waste used to produce fertilizer, animal feed and biogas. The trees develop broad canopies and deep root systems, helping to reduce soil erosion and water evaporation, whilst promoting water retention.
Belantara Foundation chief executive Agus P. Sari said: "The development of Kemiri Sunan in the context of the management of a sustainable landscape, will address several goals – improved productivity of land, income generation, community and environmental sustainability, including the supply of renewable energy."
The pilot builds on a series of initiatives undertaken and supported by APP in its efforts to promote sustainable development across Indonesia, where the company is based.
As one of the world's largest pulp and paper producers, the group has moved from laggard to leader on the issue of deforestation. In 2013, APP launched its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), including a bold pledge to cease all natural forest clearance.
In a mini-documentary filmed last summer (see below), edie took a tour of APP's operations in Indonesia to see how the organisation has revolutionised its approach to deforestation.