PEKANBARU, 28 JANUARY 2014 -- Jikalahari and WALHI Riau Press Release -- Jikalahari and Walhi (Friends of the Earth) Riau suspect the launch of Sustainable Forest Management Policy by APRIL today (Tuesday, 28 January 2014) in Jakarta, as a trick to destroy the remaining natural forest embedded with their illegal and problematic permits in Riau province. “ For example, one of their point of commitment state that they will stop destroying natural forest after 2019 ” Muslim Rasyid, Jikalahari Koordinator said.“
This policy is remains the same as HCVF policy which they often break, and it has no significant relation to the forest protection.” Kampar Peninsula and Pulau Padang area identified as HHCVF based on APRIL assessment, however they continue to convert the forest into acacia plantation. “ We urge HCVF Network to clarifies HCVF definition took by APRIL. As we understand one of the HCVF goal is to avoid clearing forest with HCV. In fact, APRIL keep clear cut natural forest, “ Muslim continued. “ APRIL also destroys peat land in their entire concession in Riau including small islands”.
Again, it is one of APRIL way for not being terminated from World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) membership because of its low commitment for sustainability and environment” Musim Rasyid said.
A week before, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is nearly to be terminated from its membership in World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); an international organisation consists of 200 big companies worldwide tend to make commitment for a sustainable and environmentally practices in their business. Six points in Sustainable Forest Management Policy, not at all discuss about corporation crimes issues they are involved. “ It seems that APRIL wants to make a better images for being clean from forestry crime,” Muslim Rasyid affirmed.
APRIL with its 17 companies are involve in corruption case as they allow their companies to clear cut natural forest in Pelalawan and Siak district for their pulp and paper source. It causes state loss for at least one billion rupiah. “ Seven companies of APRIL are also related with illegal logging and environmental cases in 2006, in which its Director were being a suspect in the era of 2006 when Irjen Pol Sutjiptadi were Head of Provincial Police Office,” added Riko Kurniawan, Executive Director of Walhi Riau.
APRIL is also destroying ecological in Riau. In an ongoing court process in Pekanbaru started on September 2013, Environmental Body Dept accuses PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari (APRI’s sub company) for destroying environmental which causing state loss of sixteen billion rupiah,” Riko added. Beside destroying deep peatland, involving in case of forest corruption, illegal logging, land and forest fires; APRIL also involve in conflict with local community. “PT RAPP operation in Teluk Meranti, and Pulau Padang, their partner; PT Sumatera Riang Lestari at Pulau Rupat and Pulau Rangsang full with conflicts. In this policy we did not see strong commitment to admit community rights and to resolve social conflict happens within their concession area,” Riko Kurniawan said.
Jikalahari and Walhi Riau argue that in order to apply for more sustainable and environmental practice APRIL should stop their entire supply from natural forest and reducing their production capacity at the level of their existing acacia plantation. ***