Natural forest clearance by PT RML remains highly questionable to its legality of the operation. At least 1500 hectares of natural forest on peat ecosystem of Giam Siak Kecil is cleared by PT Rimba Mandau Lestari as EoF investigation confirmed.
While UNESCO Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve declared in May 2009, simultaneously PT Rimba Mandau Lestari, Industrial Timber Plantation developer (HTI) affiliated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) was clearcutting remaining natural forest in Giam Siak Kecil block, or inside transition zone of the GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve.
As a matter of fact, logging site of PT RML concession sits inside the transition zone of the GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve where the initiative claimed by APP/Sinar Mas. The remaining natural forest in the transition zone should be preserved to enhance ecosystem function of GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve and as a consistent effort in protecting GSK-BB ecosystem from further damage.
EoF team found more than 1500 hectares of natural forest in the area have been felled by PT RML. EoF Investigation confirmed that natural forest logging operation by PT RML, an affiliated company to APP/SMG, is highly questionable of its legality.
PT RML clearcuts remaining natural forest in good condition that is not allowed to be converted into plantations. The company also clearcuts natural forest on peat soil with a depth of more than 4 meters, which is not allowed to be converted into plantations. Most of the concession overlap with the National Kawasan Lindung (Protected Area), and some of the concession overlaps with the provincial Protected Area.