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UNITED NATIONS, New York, 24 September 2018 – The Indonesian Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) today announced a partnership between Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the world’s largest pulp and paper producers, and Martha Tilaar Group (MTG), a leading manufacturer of cosmetics and herbal medicine, to train 1,000 women from forest communities to help preserve herbal plants and to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs.

Through this partnership, these women will be trained on how to identify and process valuable local herbs. This will enable community-level entrepreneurship that will provide sustainable alternative livelihoods to these women and their families. The target is to reach and train 1,000 women by 2020.

“The Women’s Empowerment Program has been one of our focus areas together with Business and Human Rights, Water, Children’s Rights in Business, among others. We hope that this partnership can inspire other organisations to work together for the achievement of SDGs,” said Y. W. Junardy, President of Global Compact Network Indonesia.

Both APP and MTG have long histories for corporate sustainability initiatives, but Global Compact Network Indonesia saw the opportunity to align both initiatives so that both parties can share resources and expertise to benefit an even larger group of women.

Since its establishment in 1970, MTG has dedicated itself to the empowerment of women, and has built a program to address the issue of trafficking in Indonesia.

As part of the program, MTG started a training center for spa therapy in the Kampoeng Djamoe Organic (KaDO) community and has provided full scholarships for young women from low income families. To date, MTG has trained more than 7,500 women in various areas, such as professional therapists, healthy herbal drinks entrepreneurs and in financial management. APP’s landmark Forest Conservation Policy includes an Integrated Forestry and Farming System (IFFS) programme which helps forest communities switch from traditional natural forest conversions to sustainable agricultural businesses. To date, the IFFS has been implemented in nearly 200 villages, benefitting more than 14,000 households.

 

APP’s collaboration with MTG will see the latter work and train women who are living in IFFS communities. The training, which will be carried out by KaDO, will include identification, preservation and utilization of native herbs in a sustainable manner.

Goh Lin Piao, Managing Director of Asia Pulp & Paper, said “APP is very proud to partner with MTG to empower women within the forest communities. MTG has a proven track record of successfully training and helping women in Indonesia to be self-sufficient and this perfectly complements APP’s mission to conserve natural forests and alleviate poverty, which is one of the drivers of unsustainable land use.”

“This is a great opportunity for MTG to expand its empowerment program and to reach communities that we previously had no access to. This is a natural marriage as our program also dovetails with APP's desire for their forest communities to find alternative livelihoods to reduce the pressure of needing to cultivate forest land for agriculture,” said Martha Tilaar, Founder of MTG.

This collaboration is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically addressing the Goals related to No Poverty, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Partnerships for the Goals.