The last half of 2014 was a very busy time for the APCS team with several major projects consuming our time and resources.
On July 1 we officially became a subcontractor for the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Conservation Project (RRC) to manage all field operations in their 65,000 ha Ecosystem Restoration concession in Central Kalimantan. This is the first REDD+ project in Indonesia to both receive their license from the Ministry of Forestry as well as receive verification from both the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) as well as the Voluntary Carbon Scheme (VCS). This involved hiring staff (now 35 new APCS full time employees working on RRC Project only), putting systems in place in the field, catching up on past workload backlog and preparing for an upcoming validation audit. Additionally there were offices to establish (5 in Central Kalimantan) which included staffing, furniture and legalities. There are still several key vacancies to fill in the field management team but things overall have progressed well.
Additionally, we were focused on preparing for the upcoming FSC assessment of the APCS Group Certification Scheme for small concession holders along with our current 2 members, PT Kandelia and PT Bios in Western Kalimantan. Three internal audits were held during 2014 and a mock audit in late 2014 to ensure both concessions were ready for the assessment. In addition there was a group manual to prepare, protocols to develop and put into place, internal auditing systems to draft, test and finalize, training of internal team and members, and finally making sure all was prepared for the full assessment.
For 2015…..well it’s started out with a bang. We are currently undergoing the full FSC assessment for the Group Certification Scheme and early indicators are that things are going well; however with anything relating to FSC, the process must finish before certainty is achieved. From February 3 – 10 we will host an audit team from Environmental Services Inc. from the US in the RRC project for a VCS/CCB validation audit to determine how the objectives of the Project Design Document (PDD) are being implemented and results achieved in the field while meeting the standards of the two verification/validation systems. Once the audit is complete, there are potentially an additional 49 permanent staff positions to fill for the RRC project, not to mention correcting any Corrective Action Requests as a result of the audit.
It’s going to be an exciting year for the APCS team and family so come back often for future news updates as things progress.