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NEWS UPDATES 5 October 2010

Carbon footprint project in Riau

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Carbon footprint consultancy Carbon Conservation and Sinar Mas Group subsidiary Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) launched a project on Monday that seeks to turn more than 15,000 hectares of pulpwood plantation concessions in Kampar, Riau, into a carbon reserve area.

Multiple assessments have found that the peat reserve, or "dome', which was previously designated as a pulpwood plantation concession owned by PT Putra Riau Perkasa (PRP), is rich in biodiversity and needs to be conserved, Carbon Investment chief executive officer Dorjee Sun said. PRP is an APP supplier.

The peat dome was expected to preserve significant amounts of carbon for at least 33 years, Sun said, but will require an initial investment of US$2 million (Rp 17.5 billion).

The carbon credits earned from the conservation area would then be sold to interested companies around the world, Sun said, adding that the sale of carbon credits would inject millions of dollars into job creation and development programs for indigenous communities living around the conservation area.

"We must ensure long lasting community benefits," he said during a launching ceremony in Jakarta.

However, the company had yet to formulate detailed strategies or programs to develop local economic potential, Sun said, adding that the company expected to spend the next six months conducting dialogue with local community groups, regional governments and other related stakeholders to determine their priorities.

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