Crucial map missing from submission by Asia Pulp and Paper

Information submitted to the authorities by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) on its land concessions was incomplete, Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) has said.

The agency's deputy for planning and cooperation Budi Wardhana told The Straits Times yesterday 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 are 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 BRG chief Nazir Foead and the firm will now have up till tomorrow to resubmit the maps so that they can be immediately reviewed along with the government's data.

Mr Budi said all the data given by the companies will be verified against the government's, and the firms will then be expected to draft a peatland restoration plan, with BRG's supervision.

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

On Monday, prominent Indonesian businessman Franky Widjaja apologised to 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.

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

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2016, with the headline 'Crucial map missing from APP submission'. Print Edition | Subscribe