Over the past three decades the pulp & paper sector has been a major driver of deforestation and social conflict in Indonesia's tropical rainforests. In 2013 and 2015 respectively, Indonesia’s biggest pulp and paper producers APP and APRIL made commitments to stop deforestation and expansion on forested peatlands and to respect human rights. However, NGOs continue to have concerns over their environmental, social and corporate governance performance, including insufficient remedies for the long-lasting damages and problems they have caused, including wildlife without habitat, peat fires, and social conflicts. Independent verification of their on-the ground performance has been challenging and left to NGO monitoring since both companies are disassociated with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the most credible certification scheme.
A new verification framework has been developed by a coalition of international and Indonesian NGOs to help corporate buyers, investors and others to set specific measurable performance requirements and independently verify the on-the-ground performance of APP, APRIL and affiliates. These Performance Verification Criteria and Indicators have been developed to provide a clear framework for APP/Sinar Mas and the APRIL/Royal Golden Eagle groups to be measured against, so that companies and other stakeholders can adequately evaluate performance. In addition, these Criteria and Indicators will inform the critical Forest Stewardship Council process of developing “Roadmaps” toward a possible reversal of their disassociation of APP and APRIL.