Asia Pulp & Paper Partners with Science Community to Help Solve Clean Water Shortages in Indonesia

Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:08pm EST

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Asia Pulp & Paper Partners with Science Community to Help Solve Clean Water Shortages in Indonesia

  • Asia Pulp & Paper and MAB Indonesia - LIPI partner on pilot project to install alternative water treatment technologies in remote communities in Sumatra
  • The project is the first stage of the development of a bio-village that will economically develop lives of Indonesian villagers

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) today announced its partnership with the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) Indonesia - LIPI on a major community based water treatment project in the heart of Sumatra that may potentially provide clean and safe water to millions of people in Indonesia.

The MAB Indonesia - LIPI team collecting data on the peatland water used by local communities in the ...

The MAB Indonesia - LIPI team collecting data on the peatland water used by local communities in the Tanjung Leban area in Sumatra, Indonesia. Peatland water, which is frequently the only source of water for communities in lowland forest areas in more remote parts of Indonesia, frequently contain high levels of unhealthy materials. (Photo: Business Wire)

MAB Indonesia - LIPI is part of the global UNESCO-led Man and Biosphere programme, which is designed to develop Indonesian Biosphere Reserves by promoting a balanced inter-relationship between people and nature, to help improve the overall welfare of the Indonesian people.

The project, now in its pilot stage, could help create locally based water treatment systems to address the problem of limited access to clean water endured by communities in remote parts of Indonesia. The Indonesian Government has already identified better access to clean water for its citizens as one of its Millennium Development Goals, to be achieved by 2015, but clean water problems still exist in lowland forest areas, where water contains high levels of unhealthy materials.

However, the water treatment project is just the first stage of a long term plan to develop the bio-village concept in the Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu (GSK-BB) Biosphere Reserve, in Riau province, Sumatra, where communities are encouraged to systematically manage their natural resources in a more sustainable, balanced manner. The next stages will involve the economic development of communities, to be achieved through skills training in agriculture, food production and fishing.

Aida Greenbury, Managing Director, Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, APP, said: “By helping address the basic needs of communities, we are helping people to use natural resources in a more sustainable way. Water is one of the world’s most vital natural resources and it is becoming an increasingly limited commodity. This project will help to address the ongoing clean water shortages experienced by millions of Indonesians.”

“But, more importantly, this entire initiative will limit the depletion of natural resources by showing how communities can live and prosper by using the resources at their disposal in a sustainable, integrated fashion. We also believe that this is the kind of collaboration that needs to exist, between the public and private sectors, and the scientific community, to help advance the interests of our country’s citizens,” she added.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Y. Purwanto, Programme Director, MAB Indonesia – LIPI, said: “The target outcome for this project is to provide alternative technologies for the provision of clean, usable water among communities around the GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve. The availability of clean water will be essential for development of the bio-village concept in the GSK-BB reserve, and elsewhere.”

In the current pilot stage of the project, a team of scientists from MAB Indonesia and the Research Center for Limnology-Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), supported by APP, are working with members of the community in and around the GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve to install water purification systems that can transform peat water into water that is fit for human use.

At present, the main source of water for villagers in the area can be hazardous for human consumption. The project is being piloted in Tanjung Leban, an area in the GSK-BB reserve. The units have been produced based on a design from Research Center for Limnology-LIPI and MAB Indonesia.

Following the installation of the units, members of the local community will be trained in their use and maintenance. Each unit can produce up to 60 liters of potable water per minute, sufficient to provide an ongoing supply for approximately 100 families.

APP has taken on the partnership as part of its broader sustainability programme that aims to positively impact the communities and regions in which it operates. MAB Indonesia is managed by the Government and structurally is attached to the office of the Deputy of the Life Sciences of the LIPI.

For more information about Asia Pulp & Paper’s sustainability and conservation initiatives please visit www.rainforestrealities.com.

About Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu (GSK-BB):

The Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu (GSK-BB) Biosphere Reserve is located in the Bengkalis and Siak Districts of Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. It is the first biosphere reserve initiated by a private company to be approved by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) project. The GSK-BB is described on the UNESCO MAB website as “a peatland area in Sumatra featuring sustainable timber production and two wildlife reserves, which are home to the Sumatran tiger, elephant, tapir, and sun bear.” The site also has potential to serve as a testing ground for carbon dioxide sequestration in the context of international carbon trade mechanisms. The area is managed jointly by local government, NGOs, industry, the scientific community and environmental experts. APP has contributed significantly to the development of GSK-BB as a Biosphere Reserve and has provided operating and management funding for the project. The GSK-BB area will be used for conservation, research activities and sustainable economic development.

About APP:

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is a brand umbrella for paper products which are produced by several mills in Indonesia such as PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, and PT Ekamas Fortuna. APP is headquartered in Indonesia and markets its product to more than 120 countries. Most of APP’s production facilities are Chain-of-Custody certified by LEI and PEFC. APP supports several main conservation initiatives, including a 178,000 hectare Biosphere Reserve in Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu and an area of 106,000 hectare for the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary. Both are located in the province of Riau, Sumatera. Other APP wildlife preservation initiatives include the support of the Kutai Orangutan Program in Kalimantan and the conservation of the Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50149887&lang=en

Indonesia
Redita Soumi, APP Indonesia
E: redita_soumi@app.co.id
or
North America
Naomi Bata, Cohn & Wolfe
T: +1 312-596-3332
E: naomi.bata@cohnwolfe.com
or
UK
Cohn & Wolfe
T: +44 7331 5246
E: app.ukteam@cohnwolfe.com
or
MAB Indonesia - LIPI
Gedung Kusnoto LIPI Lantai IV
Jl. Ir . H. Juanda 18 Bogor 16122
Email: mab-lipi@mab-indonesia.org