The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is an independent group of forest and social development experts established to oversee implementation of APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy. The committee, created in January 2014, reviews the company’s sustainability progress and makes recommendations for improvements. It appoints an independent auditor to assess APRIL’s implementation performance. The committee publishes findings of its deliberations, recommendations and reports at www.aprildialog.com.


23 March 2017



Joseph C. Lawson (Chair)

23 March 2017

Joe Lawson

Joseph C. Lawson holds a degree in Landscape Architecture/Regional Land Planning and Forest Resource Management from Ohio State University (United States).

He was with MeadWestvaco Corporation for 30 years before his retirement in 2013. During this time, he developed and directed the Community Advisory Committee for Mead Corporation’s Chillicothe Mill and Mead Corporation/US Environmental Protection Agency Sustainable Compliance Initiative. Joseph also co-authored the “Guide to Sustainable Procurement of Forest Fiber and Forest Products”, a partnership between World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

From 2004-2010, he served as Chairman of the Standard Interpretations Committee and Standard Revision Committee at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program.

Other forestry management functions Joseph is involved in are Corporate Operations Committee (US Tree Farm System), Co-Chairman and Steering Committee in The Forests Dialogue (Yale University), Chairman of the Forest Resources and Fiber Procurement Committee (WBCSD) as well as Board of Directors (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) International).

Jeffrey Arthur Sayer

23 March 2017

Jeff Sayer

Jeffrey Arthur Sayer is an expert in ecology and has worked throughout his career as a researcher and program manager, mostly at the inter-face between science and practical natural resource management.

At present, he is a Professor of Development Practice at James Cook University in Cairns (Australia).

He has worked for FAO and IUCN, and was a Senior Environmental Adviser at the World Bank. He was the CEO of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) from 1993 to 2001 and has also worked as Senior Associate and Science Advisor for WWF International from 2001 until present. He held the Chair of International Nature Conservation at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands).

He was founding Director General of the CIFOR in Indonesia and is currently a Senior Fellow of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Jeffrey is also a member of the Science and Partnership Council of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, and has authored papers in peer-reviewed journals and published several books on natural resources management. He has taught a Master’s program at the University of Utrecht and has been a frequent guest lecturer at universities in Holland, United Kingdom, United States of America and several other countries.

Al Azhar

23 March 2017

Al Azhar

Al Azhar holds a degree in Teacher Training and Education from Riau University and a Masters of Arts in Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania from the State University of Leiden (Netherlands). He is a PhD candidate in this field of study at the State University of Leiden, where he was also a lecturer and researcher from 1989 to 1992. Currently, he works as a lecturer in Literature and Arts at the Islamic University of Riau, Pekanbaru (1985 – present).

Since 2012, he has been the Chief Executive of Lembaga Adat Melayu Riau (Malay Custom Institution of Riau) and is actively involved in various local organizations such as the Asosiasi Tradisi Lisan (Oral Tradition Association) and the Masyarakat Pernaskahan Nusantara (Archipelago Manuscripts Society). Al Azhar was Senior Researcher in P2KK – UNRI (Center for Society and Culture Studies of University of Riau), where he initiated a multiyear research project: The Expedition of Four Rivers Culture: Rokan, Kampar, Siak and Inderagiri (2005 – 2013).

He also co-authored the publication “Everlasting Friendship: Letters from Raja Ali Haji to Von de Wall” (Leiden) in 1995 with Jan van der Putten.

Dr. Neil Byron

23 March 2017

Dr. Neil Byron

Neil Byron has been actively involved in tropical forestry for most of his career through project management roles with FAO and UNDP in Bangladesh (1982-1984), the Nepal Australia Community Forestry Project (1986-1991) and as the Assistant Director General of the Centre for International Forestry Research (1993-1998) based in Indonesia.

Since 1980, Neil consulted internationally in design and evaluation of forestry projects, especially in social and community forestry. He was the Commissioner responsible for environment, agriculture and natural resource management issues in the Australian Productivity Commission from 1998 to 2010.

Neil is Adjunct Professor in Environmental Economics at the Australian National University and the University of Canberra. In 2014 - 2015 he chaired an independent review of Biodiversity Legislation in New South Wales, which led to the drafting of a new Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Currently, he serves as non-executive Director of Alluvium Holdings Ltd, the Institute of Foresters of Australia as well as Earthwatch Institute Australia. He was also a non-executive Director of an FSC-certified plantation forestry company in New Zealand for 4 years.

Neil completed his Bachelor of Science in Forestry at the Australian National University, Canberra, and received his Masters of Economics and PhD at the University of British Colombia, Vancouver.

Erna Witoelar

23 March 2017

Ibu Erna Witoelar

Erna Witoelar is a former Member of the General Assembly (MPR, 1997-1999) and Minister of Human Settlements and Regional Development of Indonesia (1999-2001). She also served as the UN Special Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals in Asia-Pacific (2003-2007) and was a member of the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (2006-2009).

She has more than thirty years of experience in civil society leadership at local, national, and international levels. She is one of the founders of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI, 1980), Friends of the Environment Fund (DML, 1983), Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI, 1994), Clean Ciliwung River Movement (GCB, 1994), Partnership for Governance Reform Indonesia (PGRI, 2000), Foundation for Local Governance Innovation (YIPD, 2002), and others.

She is also the former chair of the Indonesian Consumer Foundation and President of Consumers International (1991-1997).

At present, she sits in the Governing Board of KEHATI and member of the Oversight Committee of its Tropical Forest Conservation Action (TFCA) Sumatra program, chairs the Board of Trustee of YIPD, co-chairs the Filantropi Indonesia, among others.

She is a chemical engineer from the Bandung Institute of Technology since 1974, and has a master degree in Human Ecology from the University of Indonesia since 1993.  

18 September 2017

Terms of Reference (ToR)