On 19 September 2018, the Greenpeace published a report, Final Countdown: Now or Never to Reform the Palm Oil Industry. The report stated that between 15 February 2015 and 21 December 2017, PT Kahayan Agro Plantation (PT KAP) cleared about 2,650 ha of secondary forest and some of the cleared forest was orangutan habitat.
Apical responded to Greenpeace request for clarification on 31 May 2018 and 3 September 2018 in regard to the alleged suppliers.
In 12 April 2019, Mighty Earth published Rapid Response 14 where it alleged that 189 ha of forest were cleared between 18 May 2018 and 1 Apr 2019 in PT KAP concession despite moratorium.
Mighty Earth published Rapid Response 15 on 24 May 2019. The report stated that between 1 April 2019 and 2 May 2019, PT KAP cleared 40 ha of forest.
Mighty Earth published Rapid Response 24 on 1 Feb 2020. The report stated that between 15 Dec 2019 and 13 Jan 2020, a total of 11 ha of forest (HK2/HCS) were cleared in the concession. Mighty Earth requested that the company re-instate the moratorium in this area until this dispute is resolved and recommended that the company contacted the HCSA Secretariat to seek guidance on resolving this dispute.
In January 2020, HCSA Secretariat informed AEP that there may have been an interpretation error in the HCSA peer reviewed assessment. To address this situation the HCSA secretariat will commission a rapid review by a new peer reviewer to examine the Medium Priority Patch (MPP) area under question in the PT KAP HCSA assessment. Given the risk that of deforesting HCS-HCV forest/areas that should be conserved, the HCSA secretariat highly recommends PT KAP issues an immediate stop work order on any further clearance in the area under question until clarification on the matter is obtained.
In February 2020, the peer review concluded the area was incorrectly designated as a MPP and is in fact a High Priority Patch (HPP) according to the HCSA Toolkit requirements. The HCSA Toolkit clearly states that HPP areas must be conserved and therefore any development or management plans related to this revised HCS assessment outcome will need to be updated. It also requested that PT KAP to confirms in writing that it has issued a stop work order for the area of concern and will work toward a solution that supports the conservation of this area and an alternative development area for the community
4 June 2018
Apical acted upon the allegations made against AEP by demanding a clarification and resolution of grievance matters from AEP.
12 June 2018
Apical had a meeting with AEP further clarification on this issue.
AEP has been cooperative and provided us with clarifications on the allegations supported by a HCV report done by Aksenta, a socio-environment management consultant.
AEP has now assigned PT. Meganesia Tirta Foresta, a registered High Carbon Stock (HCS) Network assessor to conduct a High Carbon Stock Assessment for its concession.
Apical will continue engaging AEP on this issue.
Apical had a meeting with AEP to further discuss on the grievance case. AEP informed that the HCS has completed and they plan to submit their HCS to HCSA Steering Committee for peer review.
PT KAP informed that they stop land clearing in early 2018 and HCS assessment was completed in July 2018. PT KAP resume land clearing around August 2018 which based on the HCS assessment.
AEP responded to Apical on the latest grievance cases stated in Mighty Earth 14 where they denied the allegation. Based on AEP verification and overlay the alleged area with HCV/HCS map, the 189 ha mentioned in the Might Earth report is located outside of the HCV/HCS area.
Although HCS peer review is yet completed, AEP reiterated that they’re still referring to the HCS documents conducted by their consultants in the development of concession area of PT KAP.
AEP informed that they’re fully committed toward sustainability in all its subsidiaries.
AEP has issued a memorandum to cease all the land clearing effective on 27 May 2019 until the completion of HCSA peer review or further instruction from management.
Apical seek clarification on allegation of on-going deforestation in PT KAP by Mighty Earth in their RRR 19. AEP denied the allegation as PT KAP has not conducted any clearing since the moratorium. Apical also conducted internal verification and the finding is the same that no new clearing in the concession. Meanwhile on the HCSA peer review, AEP informed that it is still on going.
AEP notified Apical that HCSA peer review has been completed. The report can be found here.
Apical seek clarification on the latest issue reported by Mighty Earth that PT KAP had started further land clearing in the areas classified as HK2 after 15 December 2019. Mighty Earth wants that PT KAP put back the moratorium in the area until the issue is resolved. They recommended that PT KAP engaging HCSA Secretariat on resolving the matter.
According to AEP, HCSA informed that there may has an error in their interpretation of the peer review assessment. Therefore, HCSA will conduct a rapid review by a new peer reviewer and recommended PT KAP to stop work order on the clearance in the area until this matter is resolved.
On 10 Feb 2020, HCSA informed the results of the second HCSA peer review which focused on the area of concern in the southwestern portion of PT KAP’s plantation. The peer review concluded the area was incorrectly designated as a Medium Priority Patch and is in fact a High Priority Patch (HPP) according to the HCSA Toolkit requirement. Whilst it is recognized the area is a community plasma, HCSA Secretariat provided some recommendation which includes to issue again stop work order and identify a new plasma area for the community to develop.
However, AEP stated that they will continue to follow the results of the first peer review assessment and submit a complaint to HCSA on 28 February 2020, and to also inform that the surrounding community has refused to move from plasma location based on the engagement they conducted earlier. The development of plasma still in progress.
A meeting was held between PT KAP and HCSA Secretariat. Based on the meeting, HCSA Secretariat willing to help to engage with plasma community in explaining the proposal to conserve the area and its importance. HCSA Secretariat to help PT KAP to explain to community on why the decision must be taken and HCS forest must be conserved.
At the same time, PT KAP willing to conserve and put the area (disputed area – south west area designated for plasma) under moratorium.
AEP informed that due to Covid-19 pandemic the visit to plasma area has been postponed and no decision made by HCSA.
AEP has engaged the community and announced commitment to the conservation of the remaining plasma area of 150 ha as HCS area. Based on this commitment, they conclude that the HCS assessment and peer review process is completed. PT KAP already ensured that the areas to be cleared does not have important values in relation to and outside the conservation area based on HCS assessment and final peer review outcome. Full statement of PT KAP can be found here.