The Sustainable Land Management Business Forum was developed by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in order for corporations, NGOs and government entities to sit down together and discuss possible solutions to land degradation and for ensuring a healthier environment.
This year, APRIL Group Chairman, Bey Soo Khiang attended the Forum, and presented a possible private-public sector partnership as a viable solution that should be taken into account.
APRIL Group’s Experience and Possible Solutions
Illegal deforestation practices and forest loss through fires due to the improper training of local inhabitants are two of the major causes of large scale deforestation in the world today. According to APRIL’s experience, as pointed out by Bey Soo Khiang, removing these practices through various collaborations with the local population has helped reduce the problem significantly in rural Indonesia.
Bey Soo Khiang pointed out that capacity building, improved technology and the training of local farmers in fire prevention methods has led to a significant decrease in deforestation problems on a larger scale. Also, the removal of the incentive for cutting down trees in order to achieve short term profit was addressed through collaboration practices that have led to many new jobs and businesses rising up to help local Indonesians improve their lives, learn better business practices and increase their income.
Continuing Government Support
Bey pointed out that, out of the roughly 130 million hectares of forest in Indonesia, more than half were added to production forestry, while about 34 million hectares still remain unmanaged.
He concluded that, with the help of the government, the approach employed by APRIL Group could be implemented at a nationwide scale, and other countries could also follow the same example in order to help improve the lives of their populations. In Indonesia, more than 30 million people are still beneath the poverty line, and such a large scale initiative would lead not only to the more responsible management of forest areas, but also to improving the lives and income of countless local families.