21 Dec 2011
Greenomics : APP must withdraw misleading statement, map
PEKANBARU (EoF News) – Greenomics Indonesia, an independent NGO, published a report recently that clearly explains how APP even now still try to conduct misinformation to defame EoF and how they are clearly cutting in their own agreed tiger sanctuary. This report also highlights how the government has gone as far as forbidding APP to claim they are setting aside areas for conservation from now on.
The report published by Greenomics Indonesia recently entitling”EoF Report: Fact or Fiction?” which CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE.
The main conclusions of the Greenomics made some conclusions in the report as follows:
- APP has not right whatsoever to claim that the EoF report is fiction rather than fact, given the changes made by RUJ, a wood supplier of APP, to its legal concession map, as shown in the RUJ micro-delineation document of April 2008. The RUJ concession area that has been cleared, as highlighted in the EoF report, prior to the change in the RUJ legal concession map, did form the “Senepis Tiger Sanctuary” as part of the RUJ concession. At the commitment level, this supplier of APP has clearly breached its commitment by conducting land clearing in an area that had previously been allocated as part of the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary. From the legal perspective, it is true that APP may try to deny that RUJ conducted land clearing in the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary, the changes made to the RUJ legal concession map clearly show that the reality is that APP has no concern whatsoever for the conservation of Sumatran tiger habitat.
- RUJ, a wood supplier of APP, has deliberately mixed up the Sumatran tiger habitat conservation area (Senepis Tiger Sanctuary) on its concession with its obligation to protect those parts of its concession that have peat cover of more than 3 meters. The fact is that 70% of the area of the Sumatran tiger sanctuary on the RUJ concession consists of peatland with a peat depth of more than 3 meters (based on RUJ’s own micro-delineation document), which by law must be retained and protected from land clearing. Inexplicably, of the 2,860 hectares of peatland with a peat depth of more than 3 meters, as stated in the micro-delineation document (which was produced following field surveys and analysis), only 592 hectares are stated to consist of deep peatland that must be retained in the new RUJ legal concession map, meaning that the remaining 2,331 hectares are incorporated into the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary, out of an RUJ concession area of 3,334 hectares.
- Also inexplicably, the map given by APP in its press release denying the EoF report and showing the area of the Sumatran tiger sanctuary on the RUJ concession is identified as a “Government map.” In fact, this map is clearly not based on the maps in the micro-delineation document that was approved by the Government of Indonesia. The map of the Sumatran tiger sanctuary given in the APP press release depicts the area of the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary on the RUJ concession as being larger than the area shown in the micro-delineation document. An area of peatland extending to 592 hectares is identified as being part of the Sumatran tiger sanctuary, whereas in the micro-delineation document, this area is not included in the said sanctuary. As a result of this slight of hand by APP, it appears that the Sumatran tiger sanctuary on the RUJ concession consists of almost 4,000 hectares. This clearly constitutes a blatant attempt by APP to mislead the public.
- Based on the RUJ micro-delineation document, it will be clearly seen that this wood supplier of APP has been legally conducting land clearing on Sumatran tiger habitat, bearing in mind that the observations conducted as part of the preparation of the micro-delineation document found that it was a legal fact that all parts of the RUJ concession constituted Sumatran tiger habitat. Thus, it may be said that RUJ has been legally driving the Sumatran tiger off its habitat through the clearing of tiger habitat, with the wood from such clearing operations being supplied as raw materials to an APP pulp and paper mill in Riau Province. This means that irrespective of whether land clearing operations were carried out in the Sumatran tiger sanctuary or not, the overall land clearing operations conducted by RUJ have, as a legal fact, been conducted on Sumatran tiger habitat. Accordingly, we are entitled to conclude that APP has no concern for the continued existence of Sumatran tiger habitat, as shown by the fact that the land being cleared by RUJ is legally Sumatran tiger habitat.
- It has been proved that the use of the term “set-aside” in respect of APP’s pulpwood suppliers is nothing more than a publicity stunt that has been deliberately calculated to mislead the public. This was clearly demonstrated during the Greenomics Indonesia presentation to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry and APP representatives. In response to this presentation, the Secretary General urged APP to no longer use the term “set-aside” in its PR campaigns, such as in the case of the Giam Siak Nature Reserve and Kampar Carbon Project. The terms “set-aside” should be replaced by “managed by” as the so-called “set-asides” only occurred because the conservation areas allocated by APP’s pulpwood suppliers actually fulfilled the criteria set by the law for mandatory conservation, rather than representing an economic or financial “sacrifice” on the part of APP. APP’s representatives have agreed to abide by the Secretary General’s admonitions.
Greenomics also provide recommendations to APP as follows:
• APP must withdraw the statement in its press release to the effect that the EoF report was fiction rather than fact. The change in the RUJ legal concession map that excised part of the area of the Sumatran tiger sanctuary provides proof positive that APP has breached its commitment to preserving a Sumatran tiger sanctuary on the RUJ concession. This change in the legal concession map cannot be used to provide a basis for claiming that the EoF report is fiction as the real question that arises is why RUJ made the change to its legal concession map so as to excise part of the Sumatran tiger sanctuary in the first place, including areas that have already been devastated by land clearing on the part of RUJ.
• APP must withdraw the map presented in its press release as part of its effort to undermine the EoF report as the map, which is claimed to be a “government map” is clearly not the same as the legal map contained in the micro-delineation document that was approved by the Minister of Forestry. The map presented in the press release is nothing more than an instrument used by APP as part of its campaign to mislead the public, and has tarnished the good name of the Government of Indonesia through guilt by association.
• APP must no longer use the term “set-aside" in connection with conservation area as part of its PR campaign as the use of this term only serves to mislead the public. APP now needs to comply with the promise it made to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry, namely to drop the term “set-aside” from its PR efforts.