PEKANBARU (EoF News)—Eyes on the Forest coalition today is releasing an Investigative Report conducted in May and June 2009 in Kerumutan block forest where EoF found PT Sumatera Riang Lestari, a company associated to Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), is clearing natural peat swamp forest with likely High Conservation Values under legally questionable circumstances.
EoF Investigative Report entitling Legally Questionable Forest Clearing by APRIL Threatens Peat Swamp Forest of Kerumutan, Critical for Sumatran Tigers, Local People and the Global Climate. The investigative report concludes that PT Sumatera Riang Lestari’s logging operations are legally highly questionable, creating social conflicts, destroying potential HCVFs and causing significant CO2 emissions.
The investigation found that PT Sumatera Riang Lestari, in the Kerumutan forest block, was clearing natural forest, digging canals and building worker camps under legally questionable circumstances.
The carbon stored in Kerumutan’s forest and deep peat soils is also under threat by PT Sumatera Riang Lestari’s operations with potential devastating effects on the global climate.
EoF report also highlighted that the natural forest clearing incited severe social conflict between villagers of Desa Harapan Jaya that sits inside the concession and PT Sumatera Riang Lestari.
Eventually, the EoF coalition calls on APRIL to immediately stop all further clearance of natural forest in PT Sumatra Riang Lestari concession; to stop all further development of canals, roads and other infrastructure; to dismantle all such infrastructure established ; and to set aside the whole concession for conservation.
EoF had sent confirmation request on the report and APRIL responded to the coalition (see APRIL’s response to EoF).
APRIL says: "PT SRL is a supply partner company of APRIL. This response is provided by APRIL on behalf of PT SRL with respect to this relationship, and in line with APRIL's commitment to encourage supply partners to the same operational standards."