In partnership with government and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), we have launched our AZ Forest programme in Indonesia - a commitment to support a healthy environment and improve socioeconomic development and livelihoods for Indonesians by planting 20 million trees in the country over the next five years. This commitment is part of the delivery of the global AZ Forest programme, announced at the World Economic Forum in January, which pledged to plant 50 million trees by 2025 in partnership with non-profit global partner One Tree Planted.
To commence the reforestation programme in Indonesia, the planting of 1.5 million trees has begun in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan with another 60,000 trees to be planted in the Citarum River Basin, West Java by the end of the 2020 season. The AZ Forest Indonesia programme marks the start of the local partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to plant 10 million trees in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan with local partner, Friends of the National Park Foundation and another 10 million trees in the Citarum River Basin, West Java with local partner, Trees4Trees. The overall programme will support a healthy environment.
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that our society is more fragile than we had thought, and the world needs to come together before we are faced with challenges that are even harder to overcome, such as an environmental catastrophe. Our work with the Indonesian government and non-governmental organisations to roll out the global AZ Forest programme into Indonesia provides a great example. This programme will help to support a healthy environment for the Indonesian people and contribute to the delivery of AstraZeneca’s ambitious climate change goals”
Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut B. Pandjaitan said: “It remains the government’s priority to take precautionary measures against the deforestation. We are pleased that this collaboration will have an impact in protecting our wildlife habitat and in empowering the local communities and support their livelihoods through agroforestry. I am delighted that AstraZeneca and the NGOs have come forward to demonstrate their leadership by contributing to meaningful environmental outcomes on a significant scale during these challenging times.”
Contributing to a healthy ecosystem and society in Indonesia
Kalimantan Island is one of the world's “lungs” covering 40.8 million hectares. According to the Forestry Department, the reforestation effort that the government is achieving for the overall Indonesia forest between 2017 and 2018 period has reached 53.9 million hectares. Tanjung Puting National Park is also recognized globally as a "megadiverse" ecosystem and critical habitat stronghold for endangered orangutans. The Citarum River Basin is one of the most strategically important watersheds in Indonesia, serving nearly 27 million residents of the Jakarta-Bandung metro area with domestic water as well as irrigation for rice fields.
The AZ Forest programme in the Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan will reforest an estimated 8,000 hectares, leading to various sustainability benefits, including: rainforest restoration, enrichment of local biodiversity and wildlife habitat, contribution to local economic development through job creation, fire mitigation, improved flood control and a cleaner climate. The project in the Citarum River Basin will reforest an estimated 25,000 hectares of land and promote sustainable agroforestry for nearly 40,000 farmers, increase income opportunities in local communities and improve water quality by reducing sedimentation. This programme supports the West Java government’s initiatives for reforestation and revitalization of the Citarum River and sustainable investment agenda to mitigate annual forest fires, landslides and climate change.
Since launching the global AZ Forest programme in January 2020, we have put programmes in place to plant 45 million trees worldwide, which puts us well on track to deliver our target of 50 million by 2025. Despite the global pandemic putting much tree planting activity on hold, the planning work continued throughout and in September the first major tree planting took place in Australia, where we have committed to planting 25 million trees.
In addition, at the close of 2020 we have invested $100m in our natural resources reduction programme, enabling us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from operations by a third and water consumption by 20% since 2015, despite significant business growth.
Watch the video on progress against our Ambition Zero carbon strategy
The environment’s impact on health
The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 13 million people die each year from environmentally related health risks, including 7 million people from air pollution alone – now the second leading cause of NCD deaths worldwide, behind tobacco smoke. AstraZeneca is Patron Sponsor of the United Nations (UN) led group “Health is Everyone’s Business,” as part of the Business Ambition for Climate and Health Action Platform, to accelerate ambitious climate action and explore what the climate-health connection means for business, in order to become a catalyst for country-level action to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).