(Beijing-- Reuters, March 29,2007)-- International environmental group Greenpeace accused Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) of illegal logging in protected forests in southern China.
Greenpeace's China office said APP had illegally cleared indigenous forest to build roads and plant a "large area of eucalyptus pulp and paper forest" in a protected nature reserve in Yinggeling, a remote mountainous region in China's southern island province of Hainan.
"APP crudely opened roads in the protected area by destroying natural forest," Liu Bing, Greenpeace forestry project director, told a news conference. "This not only harmed a large area of the natural forest, but also caused significant water loss and soil erosion, and could lead to reduced biodiversity and the destruction of an ecosystem," Liu said.
"We call on the State Forestry Administration, the State Environmental Protection Agency and the Hainan provincial government and relevant departments to immediately take action to halt APP's illegal activities in Yinggeling."
APP's China office in Shanghai was not immediately able to provide comment. A spokesman for Indonesian parent Sinar Mas Group could not be reached.
Environmentalists have previously accused APP of illegal logging in Indonesia and at its pulp and paper operations in Hainan and the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan. The firm has denied wrongdoing.
In 2005, an investigation by the Hainan provincial branch of the State Forestry Administration found APP had unintentionally destroyed protected forests, state media reported.