Fire and Conflicts

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This presentation by Petrus Gunarso from APRIL given during the Forests Asia Summit in the learning event "Fire and haze in Southeast Asian landscapes" introduces APRIL's no burning policy, describes the conflicts due to land use legal uncertainty and explains the strategy APRIL uses to deal with those.

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Fire and Conflicts

  1. 1. FIRE AND CONFLICTS 1 PETRUS GUNARSO PhD Sustainability Director FORESTS ASIA SUMMIT Sangrilla Hotel, Jakarta, 5-6 May 2014
  2. 2. Outline • Introduction: underlying causes • APRIL’s No-Burn Policy • Conflicts due to land use • Conflicts due to legal uncertainty • Strategy and Collaboration • Recommendation • Self protection: Eco-Hydro Water Management
  3. 3. Introduction The multifaceted causes of fire and haze in the province of Riau • Economic reasons • Governance issues • Biophysical characteristics of the region • Social and population issues
  4. 4. No Burn Policy • Since our inception, we implement no burn policy • Burning forests is equivalent to burning our raw materials. Burnt land/trees damages our assets and reduces our commercial return. • Burning forest reduces/eliminates the biomass in the land which leads to loss of nutrients, affects sustainable plantation development. • It’s also why we act fast to detect and extinguish fires in our concessions and near our concessions • Wood - fibre from trees is the central raw material in the pulp and paper business • We are the ‘victim’ of forest fires, with losses in the millions of dollars.
  5. 5. Conflicting Rule Burning forests is allowed for traditional use (Law 32 article 69). • Maximum of 2 hectares per household for planting local species with proper fire break. • Oil palm is not a traditional and local species exempted by this law, but who control such practice on the ground? Oil palm is ‘crop-darling’ in Riau! • Massive fire fights often happen after the fires are out of control – therefore more expensive; but from funding - it is attract national government to declare it as a national disaster status – and national budget can then be released – based on that status.
  6. 6. Conflicting Rules • Law 32, 2009 on Protection and Management of Environment • Article 69: Anyone is prohibited to: – 1. h. open land with burning • The above item (1.h) has to consider the existence of local wisdom in respected region. The clarification for local wisdom is follows: • Article 2: The meaning of local wisdom in this article means to allow burning up to maximum of 2 ha per household to open land with burning to be planted with local variety (species) and surrounded by proper fire break to protect from spreading to surrounding environment.
  7. 7. Fire Started by Others Meranti – Puskopol
  8. 8. Fire Started by Others Photos of land clearing activities for palm oil by local community, around the border of HTR in Kerinci
  9. 9. Unmanaged area – burnt annually
  10. 10. COLLABORATION AS A SOLUTION Short Term Solutions: 1.Fire Fighting Working with Indonesia’s National Disaster Agency (BNBP), Agency for REDD+ (Badan REDD+), Local Fire Fighters (Manggala Agni); and trained local community (masyarakat peduli api). 2.Reporting on fires near our concessions Done beyond call of duty – while patrolling our own area – we also report all fires happening in the vicinity of our concession and often we send fire squads to help to fight the fire. We also have ‘fire operation room’; download hotspot data, share on our fire tracker blogs, and implement ‘fire danger rating system’ in all estates.
  11. 11. COLLABORATION AS A SOLUTION Long Term: 1.Legality and Licensing • Indonesian government - coordination and support needed due to land tenure issues • Land boundary demarcation of operable areas viz a viz community land • Dispute resolution process for overlapping land claims • Enforcement for land burning 2. Engage with national and international institutions concern about forest and land fires 3.Understanding real situation on the ground through study • PhD n Masters students in collaboration with Centre for International Forestry Research – CIFOR 4.Provide alternatives to land clearing • Sustainable development to create livelihoods and jobs • Multi-stakeholder private-public-partnership initiative.
  12. 12. RECOMMENDATION • To national government: finalize spatial land use plan immediately to increase certainty of land use. • To local government: allocate funding for fire prevention and disburse funding even when no big fires start. • To villagers: implement reward and punishment for villages with or without fire – involving independent stakeholder monitoring committee. • To company: provide capacity building and support for no burn farming practice.
  13. 13. APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy (APRIL SFMP) I. Long-term Sustainability • APRIL to complete plantation establishment by end of 2014 • To supply mill entirely from APRIL’s sustainable plantations by 2019. Commitment to receive fiber only from non-HCVF areas, which are assessed by 3rd party independent assessors • No new pulp mill until plantation fiber self-sufficiency II. Forest Protection and Conservation • APRIL to continue protecting and managing High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) areas • APRIL to double the size of its Eco Restoration Programs. Rehabilitate degraded forest areas • APRIL to support forest conservation area equal in size to its plantation area (1:1), first company to do so • APRIL to adopt HCS when industry standard is established III. Peatland Management • Immediate Moratorium in all new areas, including peatland, without HCVF assessment IV. Legal Compliance and Certification • APRIL to go beyond legal compliance and pursue global forest management certifications (ie. PEFC, FSC) V. Community Engagement and Social Responsibility • APRIL to continue its Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) principles VI. Good Corporate Governance and Transparency • Independent Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) to oversee implementation of SFMP
  14. 14. Eco-Hydro Hydro buffer zones to manage water table. Water control dams to optimize the water level height and minimize carbon emission
  15. 15. Thank You

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