SmartWood releases APP HCVF verification reports

EoF News / 02 April 2007

SmartWood releases APP HCVF verification reports  

Pekanbaru (EoF News) – SmartWood has published recently its public verification reports of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) HCVF occurring in four Forest Management Units in Riau Province which finalized in 2006.  The reports published on Rainforest Alliance website following the termination made by the auditor since February 17, 2007.

Loy Jones, Asia Pacific Regional Manager, SmartWood Program, Rainforest Alliance, told EoF that reports conducted in late 2006 are expected to release to public in the near future.

The status and condition of the HCVF boundaries and areas for FMUs audited are Serapung, Pulau Muda, Siak and Bukit Batu districts, all located in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia. The audits were finalized in October 2005 where timelines of recommendations set by SmartWood mostly within six months.

Auditor recommendations provided by SmartWood (Rainforest Alliance) to APP in the four FMUs likely similar for each unit saying “non-compliant with terms and conditions of HCVF scope verified, but approved for verification statement, until the next audit, provided that corrective actions (CARs) are met by the timelines for completion…”

In the four FMUs, SmartWood found that APP “has no formal organizational structure in place to implement management and monitoring activities in HCVF areas.” The corrective action requested by the auditor for the four FMUs is that APP should do is “to form a team at the District level to implement management and monitoring activities related to HCVF conservation.”

The company has no formal and approved conservation management plan for HCVF management and monitoring activities in its concession of all four FMUs. 

Some highlights drawn by EoF based on SmartWood findings on those FMUs audits as follows:

In Bukit Batu FMU, the auditing team found direct evidence of illegal logging activities in several HCVF areas. “In most cases it appears that illegal logging of HCVF areas is facilitated by the extensive network of canals dug by the company prior to designating such areas HCVF,” the auditor said.

The auditing team assumed that HCVF areas will become the focus of illegal logging in the future, after wood sources are depleted in the Hutan Suaka Alam/Bukit Batu Game Reserve.

SmartWood said: “The audit team found evidence of a moderate level of forest loss in HCVF areas in comparison to both the original WWF HCVF boundary and the current HCVF boundary, and that this forest loss can be attributed to harvesting activities of the company…The audit team calculated the area reduction as 2,346 ha and 557 ha respectively.” Hence, In Bukit Batu FMU, forest loss that attributable to company is 2,346 ha.

In Serapung FMU, SmartWood reported “illegal logging in HCVF areas is occurring. To date, actions to address the problem of illegal logging have been limited and ineffective.” The auditor requested APP to conduct an investigation and prepare a baseline report on the illegal logging threats to the HCVF areas of the FMU in order to develop a strategic plan to reduce the illegal logging problem.

In Siak FMU forest depletion occurred “due to edge effects resulting from the harvesting of large blocks of natural forest adjacent to HCVF…Regarding edge effects, the company has not taken any steps to restore damage to HCVF edges or to mitigate the risk of such effects in the future through better spatial planning of harvesting blocks.”

SmartWood said APP’s routine security patrols in HCVF areas “is inadequate and does not fulfill company obligations”  to fight illegal logging problems.

In Pulau Muda FMU, activities leading to the loss of forest in HCVF areas directly attributable to the company due to its forest harvesting.  While, fires occurred in areas that were recently logged and planted, as well as in more advanced Acacia stands. The company was largely unable to control any of these fires.

In most areas of this FMU, it is evident that illegal logging is facilitated by the extensive network of canals dug by APP prior to the HCVF assessment by SmartWood in 2004.

Find SmartWood HCVF verification reports of 4 APP FMUs

Rainforest Alliance terminates APP HCVF audit