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APP, With Japanese Agencies, Plants Seeds to Conserve a Riau Forest

JAKARTA (From news reports) -- Sinar Mas Group's Asia Pulp and Paper collaborated with the Japan Agency for Environmental Business, or JAEB, and the International Tropical Timber Organization to conserve the Kerumutan forest in Pelalawan, Riau Islands, by planting Meranti trees there on Monday.

Around 30 Japanese volunteers, including academics, researchers and journalists, participated in the planting event. According to ITTO project manager Ma Hwan-ok, planting is the most effective way to restore a degraded ecosystem.

The recent effort comes on the heels of Indonesia's recent public commitment to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, which call for government-led programs to combat climate change through a variety of means.

Tan Ui Sian, chairman of APP Japan, said the cooperative program in Riau is the company's fourth such initiative since 2014, which saw earlier actions aimed at restoring forests throughout Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Approximately 10,000 Meranti seeds were planted on Monday on 20 hectares of land in Pelalawan.

"This event is also a message to people around the world that conserving the forest and preserving the environment is everyone's responsibility," Tan said.

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