APRIL still clears forest in Pulau Padang’s concession

EoF News / 27 March 2015

PEKANBARU (EoF News) --  Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) likely broke its promise not to clear natural forest despite it has pledged not to do so in its sustainable forest management policy, a satellite images analysis detected.

Based on analysis from Landsat image dated 16 February 2015 by Eyes on the Forest  there is approximately 80 hectares of natural forest that cleared by PT Riau Pulp and Paper (RAPP), main timber’s supplier of APRIL, in its concession of Pulau Padang (Padang Island), Riau  province.

“It is disappointing to know that APRIL has no strong pledge to really stop the deforestation despite it had promised many times,” said Muslim Rasyid of Jikalahari, Riau NGOs Network to Rescue Forest.

Greenomics Indonesia on its press release Thursday said that “the spatial evidence shows that APRIL has ignored its own sustainability policy. Whatever reasons, APRIL has committed an embarrassing violation.”

Vanda Mutia Dewi, Executive Director of Greenomics Indonesia, questioned the extent to which the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) a committee established by APRIL to monitor the implementation of its SFMP – was aware that APRIL had been clearing forested peatlands post 31 December 2014.

"Of course, the SAC needs to clarify this to the public, and explain what they've done or recommended to APRIL," Vanda said. “The clearing of natural forest and forested peatlands after 31 December 2014 by APRIL owned concession’s and long term suppliers constitutes a violation of its SFMP commitments.”

BankTrack

In another development, Dutch bank ABN Amro followed Spain’s Santander early this month by giving Greenpeace in the Netherlands a similar commitment not to finance the company until it improves. This leaves Credit Suisse as the only known European bank linked to the RGE Group which has not stepped away from the company.

BankTrack, together with Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and the Environmental Paper Network, is calling on Credit Suisse to follow the example set by Santander and ABN AMRO in recent weeks and commit not to provide further financial support to the RGE Group or APRIL. 

Credit Suisse is breaching its own rules on almost every count by financing pulp and paper company Royal Golden Eagle Group (RGE Group), an analysis by BankTrack shows.

Merel van der Mark, BankTrack forest campaigner, said,"Credit Suisse cannot keep standing by a company which is devastating Indonesia's rainforest, when its forest policy should have excluded APRIL from the outset.”

Find EoF investigation on RAPP Pulau Padang

Update 30 March 2015:

According to latest EoF analysis there was totally 309 hectares of natural forest cleared by APRIL in PT RAPP concession of Pulau Padang estate, that occurred in three locations from December 2014 to March 2015. Please see the map below.