Data submitted by Indonesia's Asia Pulp and Paper on land concessions incomplete: Peatland Restoration Agency

Chief of Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency Nazir Foead.
Chief of Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency Nazir Foead.PHOTO: ST FILE

JAKARTA - Information submitted to the authorities by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) on its land concessions was incomplete, the chief of Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) Nazir Foead said in a statement on Tuesday (June 14).

The agency's deputy for planning and cooperation Budi Wardhana told The Straits Times on Wednesday that what was missing from APP was a map detailing the depth of the peatlands.

"That data is crucial as it will tell us in which areas planting activities are allowed and which is forbidden,” said Mr Budi, adding that submission of the map will indicate a "positive step in showing the company’s work plan to restore peatlands".

A new deadline for APP has been set, said Mr Nazir and the firm will now have up till Friday (June 17) to resubmit the maps so it can be immediately reviewed along with the government's data.

Mr Budi added that all the data given by the companies will be verified against the government’s and the firms will then be expected to draft a peat-restoration plan, with BRG’s supervision.

Mr Nazir had told The Straits Times last Friday that he had asked seven companies to share maps of their concessions, and all have complied except APP, Indonesia's largest pulp and paper company.

On Monday, prominent Indonesian businessman Franky Widjaja apologised to the BRG over the company's handling of a request for information from the agency.

APP is a unit of the Widjaja family's Sinar Mas Group, one of Indonesia's largest conglomerates, whose business covers pulp and paper, agriculture, property, financial services, energy, infrastructure and telecommunications.

The BRG was set up by President Joko Widodo in January, following last year's record haze crisis, to restore 2.7 million ha of peatland in seven provinces by 2020.

Mr Nazir said the mapping of concession areas over peatland will allow the BRG to identify priority restoration areas as well as land for conservation or cultivation.