Pekanbaru (EoF News) – Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of three environmental NGOs in Riau, Sumatra releases its Investigative Report December 2006 today. The EoF Investigation found Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) involved in illegal logging in a concession belonging to its competitor in Kampar Peninsula forest block. APP’s partner, PT Arara Abadi, has illegally clearcut over 4,500 hectare-natural forest on overlapping concession of PT Triomas FDI. APP’s response on EoF’s Investigation Report December 2006 showed the implicit APP acknowledgment that its associate company/partner (PT Arara Abadi) conducted illegal logging in natural forest of Kampar Peninsula.
This peatland-rich forest block is proposed by both Jikalahari and WWF for a conservation site. APP allegedly receives and sources felled timber from the illegal logging in concession of PT Triomas FDI (APRIL partner). APP fails to show the proof of legality basis issued by the authority for the clearcutting it perpetrated. APP's excuse saying the road development in natural forest is in line with community and social development is unacceptable according to the forestry law.
EoF found that over 4,500 hectare of natural forest has been clearcut for acacia plantation where around 1,500 ha of cleared land remain unplanted. EoF considers this operation allegedly illegal as well as destroying potential High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) despite APP’s publicly announced policy to promote sustainable forest management.
EoF strongly calls PT Arara Abadi as well as APP to immediately stop their illegal logging and timber sourcing operations to prevent questionable clearing of natural forests which are: (1) still in good condition, (2) on peat soil deeper than 3m, (3) its industry timber plantation (HTI) developed on natural forest of selective logging concession (HPH) granted to another company, PT Triomas FDI (associated to APRIL). PT Arara Abadi belonging to APP has been developing HTI on natural forest, whereas existing forestry agreements prohibited this practice. Therefore the timbers felled from its operation could be illegal.