Pekanbaru (EoF News) – Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of three environmental NGOs in Riau, Sumatra releases its Investigative Report September & October 2006 today. The EoF Investigation found Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL) to be involved in forest clearance operations in two concessions in the Kampar Peninsula forest block. EoF considers these operations illegal as well as destroying potential High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) despite APRIL’s own publicly announced policy to protect HCVFs.
EoF strongly calls all the concession holders involved and APRIL to immediately stop their logging and timber sourcing operations to prevent questionable clearing of natural forests which is/are(1) still in good condition, (2) on peat soil deeper than 3m, (3) designated as Protection Forest in the currently active Provincial Land Use Plan, (4) lack approval by the Ministry of Forestry of their invalid, locally issued conversion licenses, and (5) its industry timber plantation (HTI) developed on active selective logging concession (HPH).
PT Triomas FDI belonging to APRIL fails to obtain valid logging license, even a dispensation from the Ministry of Forestry, therefore the timbers felled from its operation are illegal. EoF also strongly calls APRIL live up to its public pledge to work with local NGOS to delineate all HCVFs prior to any logging of natural forests as in concessions of PT National Timber & Forest Product and PT Triomas FDI. The Kampar forest block has been identified as a global tiger priority level 2 landscape.Further conversion of natural forests is likely to cause disturbances that will increase human tiger conflict in the area and may lead to the extinction of the local Sumatra Tiger population.
APRIL has sent its response commenting on EoF Investigative Report September & October 2006 as Jouko Virta, President of APRIL Global Fiber Supply, said that the company and its partners are “in full legal compliance.” EoF does not agree with many points stated out on APRIL’s response letter as the coalition reaffirms to strongly call APRIL not to source timber from such illegal operations and not to destroy potential HCVFs as well as to conduct its FMU-level assessment in PT National Timber & Forest Product. Find the September & October 2006 Investigative Report| Bahasa Version