EoF News (PEKANBARU) — Eyes on the Forest coalition says that over 1.2 million hectares of remaining forests in Riau are in danger of being cleared by Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp & Paper’s “independent suppliers” who can continue to deliver natural forest wood to the company’s mills. EoF published its latest report today analyzing “sustainability roadmap” that announced by SMG/APP recently.
The report entitling SMG/APP: The Pulping Continues concludes that there will be little if any conservation impact of SMG/APP’s new policies in Riau. All natural forest in the concessions in which the company claims it will halt logging is already protected by Indonesian law and by the company’s previous protection commitments.
APP officials recently released yet another “Sustainability Roadmap” with “new policies” including a temporary halt on forest clearance in a limited part of the company’s supply chain.
In this report, Eyes on the Forest conducted a preliminary evaluation of publicly available data to see what SMG/APP’s new policies may mean for the remaining forests of Sumatra’s Riau Province, the epicenter of SMG/APP’s operations for decades.
“Our analysis found there is no natural forest left to apply their new policies to in Riau Province, since all natural forest in their ‘own’ concessions had either already been cleared or protected under Indonesian law or APP showcase commitments which are also mostly nothing more than confirmation that the company would obey the law,” said Muslim Rasyid, coordinator of Jikalahari, member of EoF. “We believe that APP’s new policies offer no conservation benefit for any forest outside Riau either.”
EoF urges SMG/APP to immediately issue a moratorium on the use of natural forest fiber by all of its pulp mills. The coalition also Eyes on the Forest also recommends that SMG/APP’s customers and other business partners to cut all ties with APP until the company has proven that its mills no longer rely on fiber from the deforestation of natural tropical forests.