A field verification team has carried out a thorough technical study following a report from Eyes on the Forest alleging natural forest clearance by an Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) supplier.
As of January 2019, The Forest Trust has become Earthworm Foundation.
The report from the verification team, which includes representatives from TFT, APP and Eyes on the Forest, confirms that the natural forest clearance moratorium breach occurred because of a process failure. A decision was made in the field to honour an agreement the supplier entered into with the community two years ago to develop community land – this is part of a community livelihood support programme and is an obligation of concession owners.
The Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) Implementation Team and APP and TFT Senior Management are now reviewing sign-off procedures to ensure that all decisions relating to FCP implementation are taken only by APP senior management. Scott Poynton, founder and executive director of TFT, says: “APP’s No Deforestation commitment means absolutely no natural forest clearance, and actions have been taken to ensure no further clearance takes place, regardless of previous commitments made. APP’s senior management is 100% committed to working with us and the NGO community to achieve its FCP commitments.”
The verification report is below, together with a letter from APP to update stakeholders on the issue.