One thing has been on everyone’s minds this week - climate action. With more environment-related disasters happening worldwide, it has become blatantly obvious how important it is for all of us to act in the fight against climate change.
Since the 6th of November, leaders worldwide have come together to convene at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt for the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) to accelerate firm action towards tackling climate change.
Indonesia, like many other countries, recognises the urgent need to take collective global climate action and has responded by setting national targets and implementing strategies to fight climate change.
In support of the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to tackle climate change, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas took part in COP27 by sharing climate mitigation strategies through six different panel discussions.
Sharing more about APP’s efforts that align with Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contribution, APP’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Elim Sritaba, spoke during three panel discussions.
Alongside other notable speakers, Elim was invited as a guest speaker at the ‘’Financing and Investment for Haze-Free Sustainable Land Management in ASEAN’’ panel session in the Malaysia Pavilion on November 8th.
With forest and land fires in the ASEAN region exacerbating climate change, APP implemented a multi-stakeholder approach to design and implement Integrated Fire Management (IFM) in 2016.
Simultaneously, APP’s efforts were strengthened by the Desa Makmur Peduli Api (DMPA) community empowerment program which has fostered and guided 405 villages in managing land without the use of burning by understanding the concept of forest protection and the implementation of sustainable practices.
“Improving prosperity and welfare within the society will encourage communities to not clear land by burning. For that, we continue to do economic strengthening, including empowering women's groups in these villages," said Elim.
In another panel session named ‘’Achieving Net Zero Emission: A High Call for Urgency from a Business Perspective’’ on 9 November in the Indonesia Pavilion, the need for business actors to transform into running a low-carbon business and to be actively involved in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was highlighted.
Referencing APP’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and contributing to a circular global economy by producing paper products in a responsible and sustainable manner, Elim spoke of how APP’s PT OKI Pulp and Paper mills have achieved a ‘’low risk’’ rating for ESG to indicate their low energy usage.
This was achieved through three main elements of decarbonisation - operational and equipment efficiency, reducing the use of fossil fuels in power boilers and reducing the use of fossil fuels elsewhere.
In the final panel session, ‘’Business Actors Support for Indonesia FOLU NET SINK 2030’’ on 10 November, Elim shared how implementing the Integrated Sustainable Forest Management Plan (ISFMP) has helped APP to better support the Government of Indonesia’s targets for FOLU Net Sink 2030 in achieving sustainable forest management, environmental governance, and carbon governance.
Through DMPA, APP was able to encourage forest communities to reduce their dependence on logging and land-burning methods, which in turn reduced the number of forest and land fires while increasing the welfare of the farmers who took part in the program.
“We believe that forests in Indonesia have various potentials that can be beneficial not only for the climate and wildlife, but also for the wider community. We will seek the best strategy to be able to explore further the potential contained in it, not only in the timber utilization business, but also opportunities in the use of environmental services for ecosystem restoration. These efforts will be carried out in the corridor of the Forest Conservation Policy and the principles of Sustainable Forest Management, which of course require cooperation and collaboration with other stakeholders. This is how we fulfill our 2030 commitment, with all stakeholders – governments, communities and private sector businesses – united in one direction” added Elim.
With another week left of COP27, we look forward to seeing how it continues to enable open discussion on innovation, energy transition, decarbonisation efforts, finance, and much more.