A complaint was filed by Greenpeace, WWF-Indonesia and Rainforest Action Network to FSC in May 2013, accusing APRIL of being involved in large-scale deforestation activities in Indonesia and bringing negative social and environmental impacts to areas with high conservation values. FSC disassociated from the company in August 2013 after APRIL unilaterally decided to file a withdrawal of the FSC certifications held by the group.
FSC and APRIL have agreed to enter a dialogue process with the view of eventually developing a roadmap to end disassociation. In this process, all concerned parties, including Greenpeace, WWF-Indonesia and Rainforest Action Network, namely the NGO's that filed the original complaint, as well as other key stakeholders will be involved.
FSC has engaged an independent consultancy, Forest Finest Consultants, to conduct the baseline analysis on APRIL Group and its long term suppliers between 1994 and 2019. This evaluation will be conducted between January and May 2020.
This analysis is not part of an FSC certification process, but rather FSC is seeking to evaluate the allegations of the original complaint and other potential violations of the Policy for Association since 2013. A summary of the final report will be published on this page of the FSC website.
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From January 2020, FSC will conduct a baseline assessment of the complaint allegations about APRIL Group and its alignment with the FSC Policy for Association.
FSC performs a re-evaluation of APRIL’s readiness to engage in a dialogue with FSC towards ending the disassociation. The FSC Board of Directors agrees to continued dialogue between FSC, APRIL and complainant NGOs.
FSC analyzes APRIL’s SFMP (Sustainable Forestry Management Plan) and stakeholder engagement. FSC enters into a formal dialogue with APRIL based on this evaluation, concluding that APRIL is exemplifying commitment, policy and progress at a high level.
APRIL approaches FSC and expresses its willingness to comply with the FSC Policy for Association and work towards regaining FSC certification by ending disassociation. Informal dialogue begins.
FSC disassociates from APRIL.
APRIL files a withdrawal of its (and its subsidiary group's) FSC certifications.
FSC receives a joint complaint against APRIL from Greenpeace, WWF-Indonesia and Rainforest Action Network, denouncing on-going large-scale deforestation activities by the company in Indonesia. The complaints are made based on the company's purported violations of the Policy for Association alleging that large-scale forest conversion to pulpwood plantations had brought negative social and environmental impacts to areas with high conservation values.
FAQs on the Baseline Analysis and APRIL’s Policy for Association ending disassociation process
What is the “baseline analysis”?
The baseline analysis is a concept FSC dispute resolution is currently testing as a part of the ending disassociation process. The baseline analysis will provide a starting point for drafting the company specific roadmap to establish the thresholds and timelines.
The baseline concept developed out of the generic roadmap for ending disassociation. The original idea was to conduct an analysis of the allegations of unacceptable activities for those disassociation cases in which FSC was unable to conduct a complaints panel investigation. As conceived, the baseline would also be applied to ending disassociation cases in which many years have passed between ending disassociation and the roadmap drafting process. We are currently testing the applicability of the baseline analysis in the case of APRIL, which tests both use cases for the analysis, considering the absence of a complaint panel report and multiple years having passed since the disassociation.
How is this baseline analysis being conducted?
FSC has hired an independent consultancy firm, ForestFinest Consulting, to conduct the baseline analysis. The consultancy, together with FSC, has developed the methodologies to conduct the baseline as a desk-based analysis.
The baseline analysis is designed to be a desk-based exercise to provide FSC with an idea of the scope including extent of the legacy of unacceptable activities to be managed through the company specific roadmap. Field verification, peer reviews, and affected stakeholder outreach will be determined as part of the company specific roadmap process.
How does the baseline relate to the generic roadmap for ending disassociation?
The baseline analysis as designed is part of the prerequisites for entering the ending disassociation roadmap drafting phase. Other prerequisites include a disclosure of corporate structure, a readiness assessment, and acknowledgement of harm.
The drafting of the company specific roadmap will commence after all the prerequisites have been completed. The information from the baseline will be used to establish the timelines
Why was APRIL selected to test the baseline concept?
FSC conducted two readiness assessments on APRIL finding high-level commitment and dedication to the ending disassociation process.
As the ending disassociation process is not yet formalized, the FSC International Board of Directors directed the Secretariat to test the generic roadmap in the development of the APRIL company specific roadmap, which includes the baseline analysis. APRIL agreed to participate in the baseline concept and its applicability.
What if I disagree with some of the findings from the baseline analysis?
The final baseline analysis summary report will be published on the FSC website on the APRIL case page.
The baseline analysis is a quantification-oriented exercise and hence public consultation is not included at this stage. Any questions and further inputs can be raised during the public consultation of the APRIL company specific roadmap.
What is the generic roadmap for ending disassociation?
The generic roadmap is a framework of requirements, indicators and guidance for ending the disassociation between FSC and disassociated companies. The objective of the roadmap is to remedy, correct and prevent reoccurrence of unacceptable activities under the FSC Policy for Association.
It also includes other trust-building measures. Disassociation can be lifted only upon completion of the agreed conditions and thresholds specified in the roadmap. The generic roadmap framework is an adaptable set of guidelines and indicators for ending disassociation with organisations through a credible, transparent and fair procedure.
The generic roadmap framework has been organized into four sections, each containing distinct requirements, indicators and reporting for the roadmap to be implemented and achieved in full as follows:
1) Remedy of environmental harm focuses on the legacy of forest conversion since 1994, the destruction of High Conservation Values since 1999 and providing a process for attaining remedy.
2) Remedy of social harm is about identifying, documenting and measuring the impact of social harm stemming from conversion activities and violation of traditional and human rights and lays out a process for remediation of harm. This track provides the opportunity for capacity building across multiple stakeholders.
3) Prevention of the re-occurrence of FSC Policy for Association violations.
4) Protecting FSC’s reputation from controversial activities and building trust with economic, social and environmental stakeholders.