PEKANBARU, SUMATRA -- A document released today by Eyes on the Forest confirmed that a supplier to paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper is clear felling natural forest the company designated as tiger sanctuary.
APP had responded Tuesday to an investigation by WWF and Sumatra NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest with a graphic purporting to be based on a government map, alleging that photos of felled natural forest and new peat drains were taken narrowly outside the boundaries of the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary.
But the “Proposal for Rationalization of Senepis-Buluhala Sumatra Tiger Conservation Area” - signed off by Sinarmas Forestry (APP) and supplier executives on 22 June 2006 - confirms that the current clear felling is occurring inside the area designated and advertised by the company as the “Senepis Tiger Sanctuary”.
The document includes a signed map of the proposed Senepis Tiger Conservation Area boundary of 106,081 hectares, ratified in an agreement on 21 June 2006 by Sinarmas Forestry (APP) and its two suppliers, PT. Ruas Utama Jaya and PT. Suntara Gajapati (SG).
Satellite imagery shows that huge areas of dense tiger forest that government and scientists had proposed to protect as the Senepis National Park have now been cleared and drained by one supplier (SG). The Government-proposed Senepis National Park to be established for the protection of tigers and their habitat suddenly “disappeared” from discussion in 2006. It was replaced by APP’s suggestions for a tiger sanctuary located mostly (86%) on another company’s concession not related to APP; this company was already protecting its forests through sustainable FSC-certified management. Now APP supplier (RUJ) has begun clearing even the small blocks of forest in the 14 percent of the sanctuary that the company itself had proposed for protection.
“APP pulped the dense tiger forest in the proposed national park inside its SG concession, pulped most of the dense tiger forest inside its RUJ concession, and this year even started to clear what they themselves had identified the area as important for tiger conservation and committed to protect it in 2006,” said Aditya Bayunanda of WWF Indonesia, “Net out: APP has destroyed about 49,000 hectare of tiger habitat in the Senepis area alone”.
“There are so many contradictions between what APP and its suppliers do and what they claim to do in their massive greenwash advertising campaigns in the media and propaganda claims through front groups,” said Hariansyah Usman of Walhi Riau.
"In trying to deny they are clearing their own designated tiger sanctuary, they have confirmed that they are clearing tiger forest and they are pulping tropical forests in defiance of their public commitments to halt this by 2004, then by 2007, then by 2009 and now by 2015.”
"APP is simply trying to distract people’s attention from the damning findings our report published by their aggressive PR once again.”
The Eyes on the Forest report “The Truth behind APP’s Greenwash” notes how emissions calculations conducted for APP and used in its greenwash campaigns neglect to mention emissions from forest clearing and peat drainage – calculations suggest the carbon footprint of APP paper could be more than 500 times the APP consultant’s claim and 10 times the North America pulp and paper sector average.
The map in APP’s publication of 14 December 2011 is unrelated to the company’s past commitments and indicative of its general strategy of not publishing detailed maps of its so-called “conservation areas”.
PT Ruas Utama Jaya, the company who cleared APP's sanctuary, is involved in alleged illegal logging and corruption. The company had started forest clearance before it received a proper concession license and it was investigated for illegal logging during the police investigation in 2007-2008, and it is the only one company remaining to be procedeed to the court –among 14 companies- but luckily it is cleared amid questionable circumstance eventually.
Some government officials in Riau province are involved in corruption cases related to logging licenses issuance: Two officials were already jailed so far, one is tried and other two officials are under investigation by KPK.
Find the document here:
Download Eyes on the Forest’s new report The truth behind APPs greenwash
l The new report also investigates many other of APP’s misleading claims and summarizes SMG/APP’s profit driven, environmentally damaging actions, including destruction of unique forest types, tiger, elephant and orangutan habitat, clearance of forests inside the APP-driven UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and legal drainage of deep peat soils in violations of various law and resulation, releasing millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, ranking APP ahead of 156 countries in greenhouse gas emissions.
Companies that have cut off business ties with APP include: Office Depot, Staples, Kraft, United Stationers, Target and Mattel (USA); Idisa Papel (Spain); Metro Group, KiK and Adidas (Germany); Woolworths and Metcash (Australia); Tesco, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer (UK); Nestlé (Switzerland); Unilever (Netherlands); Ricoh and Fuji Xerox (Japan); Zhejiang Hotels Association (China); Gucci Group (Italy); Lego (Denmark); Leclerc (France). Many others have cancelled their contracts quietly or have committed to avoid buying from the company.