However, APP did not reply to the call by Eyes on the Forest to APP to immediately stop sourcing any wood from anywhere within Libo Forest Block. As shown in the EoF report: Forest to Paper, Forest to Palm Oil and No Place to Live for Riau’s Elephants (published on 18 April), APP has been found by EoF to source wood from three areas in Libo Block, in addition to the Bina Daya Bintara concession. Therefore, EoF continues to call APP to immediately stop any logging or any sourcing of wood from anywhere inside Libo Block.
In the Letter, APP also says: “Protection of endangered species as one of High Conservation Values (HCV) is part of APP commitment to sustainability as a whole. In addition to the Environmental Impact Assessment legally required by the national law, APP commissioned SmartWood, a sustainable forestry program of the New York-based Rainforest Alliance to independently assess APP’s fiber source in three sensitive areas in Riau, Sumatra, for the presence of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF). APP and Sinarmas Forestry oversee large set aside areas of conservation forest and identified HCVF, consisting some large blocks of contiguous forests with critical habitats ensuring the free movement and survival of endangered and critically endangered species such as Sumatran elephants, fresh water crocodiles, white-winged ducks and Sumatran tigers.”
EoF points out that the assessment by SmartWood and APP’s commitment to protect HCVFs regards to only four Forest Management Units of APP. There are many more concessions from where APP continues to source wood harvested by the clearcutting of natural forests, without any proper assessment nor protection of HCVFs. EoF calls APP to protect High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) in Riau and elsewhere.
APP also says: “It is APP Corporate Fiber Procurement Policy to require all its fiber suppliers to maintain compliance with all relevant regional, national and international regulations for sustainable forestry and land use management. We have been working effortlessly to have this Policy consistently implemented in all operations”.
EoF would like to point out that so far EoF’s field investigations found APP twice to source wood from logging operations by illegal logging groups who had no proper logging permit from the government. This is in violation of Forestry Law No. 41 Year 1999 (see EoF Investigative Reports March 2005 and April & May 2005). One of these incident happened inside Libo Block. In addition, legality of forest conversion in some areas of Libo Forest Block is questionable as pointed out in the April 18 Report. EoF hopes that APP improves its wood tracking system to ensure such contamination of illegal wood does not happen and make sure the legality of forest conversion activities are legal.