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APP speaks on building a resilient climate future at COP28

The UNFCCC COP28 Climate Change Conference in Expo City, Dubai, concluded with a momentous deal, urging nations to shift away from fossil fuels. While the agreement lacked an explicit commitment to phasing out fossil fuels, a compromise urged active participation in global initiatives for transitioning energy systems. The focus remained on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, aligning with scientific recommendations for a fair and organised transition in this pivotal decade. 

Amidst discussions spanning technology, inclusion, frontline communities, and finance from November 30 to December 12, 2023, three inspiring women from APP – Elim Sritaba, Tien Johanna, and Jasmine Doloksaribu – played a central role in shaping the narrative of COP28.

Elim Sritaba, Chief Sustainability Officer at APP, shared valuable insights during the discussion panel titled 'Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality Strengthen Climate Change Mitigation Actions' where she unveiled the Desa Makmur Peduli Api (DMPA) program, a community empowerment initiative that covers 421 villages around APP’s concession areas. "This is not a grant program, but rather an empowerment program with an inclusive approach which is expected to take the community to the next level in forest protection efforts," she declared.

Elim shared the challenges faced in empowering women, emphasising the importance of building confidence. Collaborating with the Dr Sjahrir Foundation, APP has provided education and organised the business incubation program for local women entrepreneurs in Indonesia. Elim spoke passionately about the impact, "The women's group stands out in showing better performance, having commitment, and having the capacity to support their welfare." Her words echoed through the conference, resonating with those who understood that empowering women is not just a societal benefit but a climate imperative.

Meanwhile, Tien Johanna, the Sustainability Division Head of our Tjiwi Kimia Mill, participated in COP for the first time this year and took centre stage in the panel discussion on 'Zero Waste and Zero Emission Goals on Municipal Solid Waste.' She explained that Tjiwi Kimia has expanded its production of special paper products for packaging by recycling used paper. In the process, there is dirt in the form of residual impurities from used paper raw materials. During the panel, she announced, "We developed the use of Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) from the remaining impurities of the cardboard raw material recycling process."  

Johana unfolded the roadmap toward achieving the Zero Waste Zero Emission 2050 target, revealing plans for an RDF processing boiler with a capacity of 200 tons per day which will be more environmentally friendly than a conventional boiler. Johana's commitment to decarbonization aligns with APP’s Sustainability Roadmap Vision, aiming to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030. She detailed steps taken, including the utilisation of new and renewable energy from solar and biomass power plants. "We are targeting this boiler to operate next year," Johana asserted, painting a vivid picture of a future where waste becomes a resource, not a burden.

In a third panel, Jasmine Doloksaribu, the Head of Landscape Conservation at SSE, APP, captivated the audience with her insights on 'Innovation in Ecosystem Restoration.' Jasmine revealed that APP and its partners manage a protected area of around 600 thousand hectares across five provinces. "In 2015, forest cover in good condition was 64%. Monitoring in 2023 shows that the area of forest cover in good condition increased to 86%," said Jasmine.

Throughout her presentation, Jasmine emphasised that returning degraded land to its initial condition is not a measure of the success of a restoration, but an indicator measuring the return of ecological functions that occur naturally. These functions must be monitored, and an increase in plant, and wildlife diversity, as well as carbon uptake indicates success.

Through their contributions, Elim, Johana, and Jasmine showcased APP's commitment to gender equality, waste management, and ecosystem restoration as crucial elements in the fight against climate change. "It was truly inspiring to witness individuals from diverse backgrounds uniting with a shared purpose – combating climate change," said Elim. As COP28 concluded, their words echoed, leaving an indelible mark on the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

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