Singapore – (November 12, 2015) – Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) says it has completed more than 400 dams to block plantation perimeter canals in APP suppliers' concessions on peatland in Riau and South Sumatra, in a bid to provide a long term solution to check forest fires.
The dams have been designed to protect peat forests by raising the water level and starting the rewetting of peat to prevent forest fires. In total, APP and its pulpwood suppliers are planning to construct over 3,000 perimeter canal dams in Riau province, Sumatra, with construction expected to be completed by 1Q next year.
The perimeter canal blocking programme is a first step towards the implementation of wider buffer zones between forest and plantations in and around all APP suppliers' concessions, saysthe group. Buffer zones will allow near-natural water levels at the forest edge to be maintained, which is required for forest survival as well as for the reduction of peat loss, carbon emissions and fire risk.
Separately, the group says it has collected aerial data across 4.5 million hectares of peatland in Indonesia. The data is being analysed in phases, with a coastal peatland map of East Sumatra due to be completed in 1Q2016.
This is part of APP's Peatland Best Practices Management initiative, which has been implemented for the past two years. The peatland best practice management results will be submitted to the Indonesian government and shared with businesses and local communities.