Cottonsoft Supports Asia Pulp & Paper's commitment to the first-ever retirement of commercial plantations on tropical peatland to cut carbon emissions
APP partners with Deltares to develop peatland best management practice model – Greenpeace is monitoring its development
In the largest exercise of its kind, a quarter of Indonesian peat landscapes is mapped with LiDAR technology
APP builds on FCP commitment of a moratorium on all peatland development since 2013
Cottonsoft has welcomed the news that Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is committing to retire around 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas to protect threatened carbon-rich peatlands, the first time that plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes worldwide.
Peatland development in Indonesia represents a large source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)1. Retiring these plantation areas will help support the Government of Indonesia’s target of a 26 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.
The land marked for retirement is spread across five individual acacia plantation areas in Riau and South Sumatra which have been identified as requiring immediate rehabilitation following recommendations from the applied research institute Deltares. In line with APP’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process will be conducted for the five areas, before any retirement proceeds.
APP’s announcement is part of its commitment to establish a science-based landscape approach for best practice peatland management that can be used by the Indonesian Government and plantation companies. It builds on the conservation pledges in the company’s FCP, which placed an immediate moratorium on all natural forests and new peatland development in February 2013.
As part of this approach, Deltares is working with APP to carry out the largest mapping exercise ever carried out on tropical peatland areas using LiDAR remote sensing technology. LiDAR, deployed from aircraft, allows Deltares to map around one quarter of all Indonesian peatland where APP’s suppliers are located. The area totals 4.5 million hectares, which compares to an area the size of Switzerland or the State of Pennsylvania. The resulting maps will be finalised in 2016.
The mapping will provide unprecedented insight into the hydrology and environmental conditions of a number of critically important peat landscapes. Analysis of the data will enable Deltares to provide further recommendations on how APP can minimise the impact of drainage in peat landscapes, making a significant contribution not only to reducing forest loss but also to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.