Paradise Papers for APRIL

 

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reveals that APRIL has shuffled billions of dollars through a web of offshore companies. Big banks such as Credit Suisse and ABN Amro have continued to lend to April’s offshore subsidiaries despite environmentalists’ concerns and the banks’ own sustainability policies. 
The leaked documents, known as the Paradise Papers, were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 94 other media partners.
Here follow the full article published in the ICIJ website
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APRIL concessions workplan declared invalid

 

According to the web site Foresthints.news, the Environment and Forestry minister Siti Nurbaya decided to declare invalid the forest permits of PT. RAPP,  the biggest subsidiary and plantation company of APRIL.
The reason is that the company failed to review its 10-year work plan, and its 2017 annual work plan to comply with the new peat regulations, despite a number of letters and warnings from the Indonesian authorities. Consequently, the company lost the legal basis for its forest operational activities.
 
For instance, the APRIL company’s legal documents state that 70% of its concession in the Pelalawan estate – the estate in the Kampar Peninsula landscape inspected by the Ministry’s Law Enforcement Director General – consists of deep peat which usually constitutes peat domes.

However, a LiDAR mapping-based analysis conducted by Deltares (2015) revealed that almost all of APRIL concessions in the Kampar Peninsula landscape, including Pelalawan estate, are comprised of deep peat.

According to the same source, the Ministry found APP companies in compliance with the regulations and had their work plans approved. In the past moths the ministry sent o number of warnings to APP too, but apparently an agreement has been found.

 

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Peat communities demand the revocation of APRIL plantation permits

 

The Government Regulation (PP) 57 of 2016 on the Protection and Management of Peat Ecosystems regulates peatland management, identifies peatland that need to be protected and other peat areas still suitable fo productive functions.  In Riau, the majority of the industrial pulpwood plantations (also called HTI) areas are located n peatlands of high hydrological value, that require the protection status. This is especially the case  for the plantation licenses located alongside the coast and in the small peat islands, where the peat often more than three meters deep. 

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Advisory Board members ask APRIL to put Indonesian government decisions into action

WWF and Greenpeace, both of which are members of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) – a committee established by the APRIL Group to oversee the implementation of its Sustainability Policy – have declared that APRIL must abide by the decisions made by the Indonesian government in the wake of the peatland violationsperpetrated by the APRIL subsidiary, PT RAPP, in its concession on Pulau Padang, in Sumatra’s Riau province. Continue reading

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The minister: APP is not seriously implementing peat regulations

 

The Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister wrote to Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to expressed disappointment in the lack of seriousness displayed by the company in its implementation of new peat regulations.

The government sent already several official letters (Jul 26 and 28). This time the Minister decided to write to the owners, Franky Widjaja and Linda Widjaja.

The new peat regulations has been issued by the government after the fires crisis in 2015, to prevent uncontrolled fires.

“APP clearly lacks seriousness in implementing the new peat regulations. It turns out that the proposed 10-year work plans of the APP companies in Riau and South Sumatra provinces contain copy-paste documents,” commented to http://www.foresthints.news/april-remains-in-breach-of-toxic-waste-handling-rules a high official in the ministry.

The minister has given the APP companies involved a deadline of between 10-11 August to submit revised versions of their 10-year work plans.

 

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More troubles for APRIL

APRIL’s subsidiary PT RAPP incurred in an administrative sanction for serious breach of toxic waste regulations. Despite the company claims to have addressed the problem, a recent supervision by the ministry revealed that the company is still not yet in compliance.

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Indonesia on fire, paper and palm oil industry blamed

The National Agency for Disaster Management of Indonesia (BNPB) says that the number of fires in Indonesia have increased in June, especially in Riau province, Sumatra. Other areas that experienced an increasing number of fires were Jambi and West Kalimantan. The peatland fires in Riau which started last week have affected not only Riau but also neighboring countries Singapore and Malaysia. Malaysia also decided to temporarily close 200 schools and banned open burning in some areas due to the haze. The Pollutant Standards Index, Singapore’s main measurement for air pollution, is above the “hazardous” classification that can aggravate respiratory ailments.

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Indonesia’s plantation lobby challenges environmental law

 

Palm oil and paper lobby groups have asked Indonesia’s highest court to strike down rules holding plantation firms strictly liable for fires that occur on their land, according an article pubblished on Mongabay. The groups have also asked the Constitutional Court to eliminate a regulation letting small farmers practice slash-and-burn techniques, the cheapest land-clearing method and a mainstay of indigenous cultures in the Muslim-majority archipelago nation. 

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FSC investigating on Korindo deforestation after Earth’s Complaint

 

Mighty Earth has submitted a complaint to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The complaint presents compelling evidence confirming that since 2013 Korindo’s oil palm companies have been responsible for clearing over 30,000 hectares (ha) of Indonesian rainforests in Papua and North Maluku. Last week, FSC notified Mighty Earth that their complaint  was officially accepted for investigation. Their acceptance note stated, “With this email we would like to inform you that, after an internal assessment of the complaint submission (including the additional information provided and the related investigation report “Burning Paradise”), FSC International has decided to accept the PfA complaint filed by Mighty against the Korindo group.”

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Pulp & paper industry: social impacts and little development

While RAN is voicing local communities affected by pulp & paper industry in Indonesia, the Environment and Forest Minister says that this industry gives a very marginal contribution to Indonesia’s GDP: less than 1%.  Ran published last week an online gallery of photos and quotes to amplify the voices of inspiring Indigenous and frontline leaders in Indonesia, affected by pulp and paper plantations. The goal of this vibrant site is to hold pulp and paper companies responsible to their policy promises by amplifying the voices of those on the frontlines. 

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APRIL concession lies in deep peat

 

According to the LiDAR mapping carried out by the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRG), one of the pulpwood concessions belonging to PT RAPP, a subsidiary of pulp and paper giant APRIL, located on Pulau Padang in Sumatra’s Riau province, is largely composed of deep-lying peat.
LiDAR is a surveying method that measures peat deafness using pulsed laser light.

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Indonesia: how the illegal loggers prevailed over the police

In July 2007, the police of the province of Riau, Indonesia, launched a massive operation against illegal logging. Riau, in Sumatra, is one of the last sanctuaries of the South-east Asian rainforest. The police filled 157 cases, outlined in 127 files, directly involving 14 companies accused of illegal logging, corruption and money laundering. All these companies were linked to the paper giants Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL). According to the police chief of Riau, Brig-Gen. Sutjiptadi, illegal operations costed to the state billions of dollars as environmental damage and lost revenues. 

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Too much hot air: paper’s climate change impacts in Indonesia

 

A new report ‘Too Much Hot Air‘, details the shocking climate change impacts of the Indonesian pulp and paper industry through damage to peatlands, and highlights solutions in the form of ‘paludiculture’, with examples of good practice from local communities. The report is a discussion document, and it concludes with questions about we can move to a more sustainable future for Indonesian peatlands.

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Local communities protests in South Sumatra: “Restoration, not amnesty for corporate crime”

While governments and companies meet in Pelambang, South Sumatra, for the Bonn Challenge Meeting, local communities representatives coming from areas affected by plantations, organised together with NGOs a parallel meeting in the city. Over 30 members of communities from areas degraded by industrial plantation for pulp, paper and oil palm development gathered with over 20 Civil Society Organizations from South Sumatra, Jambi, Riau, West, Central and East Kalimantan yesterday for the “Community Based Restoration Conference” in Palembang that ran in parallel to the Bonn Challenge Meeting.  Continue reading
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APP supplier caught doing illegal activity

In December 2015 the Indonesian President signed a new regulation regulation on peat protection. The regulation and the related implementation rules issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry forbid any new canal developments on peatlands. Last month, a ministry inspection found that Asia Pulp & paper supplier PT. Sekato Pratama Makmur (PT. SPM) was opening a new canal in peat soil. The PT. SPM concession is in the Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu landscape in Sumatra’s Riau province, a critical area declared UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve
The reserve houses around 189 species of plants, 29 of which are classified as endangered under CITES, Appendix 1 and 3.Several species of animals found in the reserve are classified as endangered under CITES Appendix 1 including the Sumatran elephant and Sumatran tiger.

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After APP, also APRIL sanctioned by the Ministry

After removing the recently (illegally) plated acacia from APP plantations, an Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry high level inspection team visited the plantation of APRIL subsidiary PT RAPP and removed the acacia plants.

 

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NGOs send a letter to Asia Pulp & Paper, urging reform of APP structures and practices

A group of NGOs sent a letter to APP director, Linda Wijaya, after a stakeholder engagement forum in Jakarta on October 5th. At the forum, APP presented information on how it is attempting to implement its Forest Conservation Policy and associated plans, and NGO’s raised the issues contained in this letter and sought assurances from APP that it will increase its efforts to quickly reform its structures and practices. The signatories made clear to APP that their re-engagement is not an endorsement of the company’s policies and practices and should not be used by the company to promote its products in the market place or seek additional finance.
See the letter at: http://tinyurl.com/letter-to-APP

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NGOs send a letter to Asia Pulp & Paper, urging reform of APP structures and practices

A group of nearly 60 Indonesian and international NGOs sent a letter to APP director, Linda Wijaya, to express their concern regarding a new possible supplier, PT. Bangun Rimba Sejahtera (PT BRS). According to a recent NGO report, the company has a concession laying up to 85% on land used by local communities for their livelihoods. The report suggests that 100,000 people in West Bangka Regency could be affected by PT BRS operations, and that 21 villages (the majority of the affected villages) have expressed their opposition to the presence of PT BRS. The report finds that PT BRS has failed to undertake a credible Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process. The concession, in order to be viable, must use lands claimed and used by local communities, consequently risks further igniting social unrest, undermining local livelihoods and creating serious land conflict. The NGOs ask APP not to choose PT BRS as supplier. Please, find the letter here

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Proposed wood source for APP’s controversial OKI Mill sparks

A potential wood supplier for one of the world’s largest pulp and paper mills does not have the consent of local communities

A joint investigation report released in English  by Indonesian NGOs titled “Local Communities Reject PT. Bangun Rimba Sejahtera, Potential Supplier to APP’s OKI Mill”, details the opposition of local communities to the development of industrial pulpwood plantations on their lands in Banka Belitung, Indonesia. Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) is considering purchasing wood from these plantations as a fiber source for its controversial new mill PT. OKI Pulp and Paper mill, despite the ongoing conflicts. The OKI Pulp and Paper mill is one of the world’s largest and has been criticized over concerns that its high demand for wood fiber will drive new land conflicts, breaking APP’s social and environmental commitments.

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APP still under investigation in Singapore

The newspaper Straits Times report that Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) is still under investigation by Singapore authorities, as the company has not provided enough information to the investigating the fires and haze that affected Singapore in 2015. The authorities are investigating according to the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.
The four APP suppliers under investigations are Bumi Andalas Permai, Bumi Mekar Hijau, Sebangun Bumi Andalas Woods Industries and Rimba Hutani Mas. Straits Times reports that they have not responded to Singaporean investigating authority despite repeated reminders. Continue reading

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APP uninvites selected press from visiting controversial mill

According to Ecobuiness.com, journalist, Robin Hicks writing in Eco-Business, recounts how he was “uninvited” from an APP press trip to its OKI mill at the 11th hour. APP told Hicks it was not ready to tell the mill’s sustainability story, which was what he was after, and that the press trip would focus on the commercial and financial aspect of the new mill. APP said they would reschedule for a more suitable trip for the sustainability press at a later date. Hicks wrote he had informed APP when asked, that besides wanting to understand the workings of the mill, he also would like to know how such a big mill could avoid breaking the company’s zero-deforestation pledge. When Hicks’ editor asked if he could still go along on the trip, APP said no and that they would not host him even if he showed up in Jakarta.

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To abide with the law, APP and APRIL should restore 1.7 million ha in their concession

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and APRIL are managing 38% of the BRG’s restoration total target or 1 million hectare. Analysing a previous analysis by Eyes on the Forest, Auriga says that in order to implement the full restoration mandated by the government, APP and APRIL must restore respectively 1,1 million hectare and 0,6 million hectare from each of their conservation area (approximately 40% of their total concession). Last Thursday, a team of the Environment and Forestry Ministry symbolically removed some acacia plants recently replanted after the fires, in violation with the recent regulations. The action happened at Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) subsidiary, PT BAP, in Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) regency.

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Ministry of the Environment and Forestry orders APP to remove the recently planted acacia

By the end of December 2016, Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry issued two official letters iorderig five more Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)  to remove all the acacia they have recently replanted in burned peat. The companies are PT RHM, PT TPJ, PT SH, PT BPP and PT SPM.

Previously, the Ministry had sent letters uttering to remove the unlawfully planted acacia to three more APP pulpwood companies (PT BMH, PT SBAWI and PT BAP) operating in South Sumatra’s Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) regency. As a result, eight APP suppliers has been found violating the new regalements that prohibits planting on burned peat.

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APP’s new OKI mill will endanger Indonesia’s climate change commitments, NGOs say

On December 23, 2016 Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced it had started production at one of the largest pulp and tissue mills in the world. The Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) mill, in South Sumatra will produce 2 million tons of pulp each year, but according APP sources, production could touch 2.8 or even 3.3 million tons. A group of international and Indonesian NGOs (Rainforest Action Network, Wetlands International, Eyes on the Forest, Woods and Wayside International, HaKI, Auriga) warned that the new mill will endanger Indonesia’s climate change commitments, and demands APP to phase out all drainage-based plantations on peatlands. “The mill’s wood supply is grown mostly on drained peatlands, a production system that causes extremely high carbon emissions and, at times, catastrophic fires.” says a joint statement .

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The land grabbed by Toba Pulp Lestari to be returned to indigenous people

Indonesia’s decision to return customary lands to indigenous peoples is a breakthrough for their rights and a boost to campaigners pushing for a slowdown in deforestation in the Southeast Asian country, a leading rights activist said. President Joko Widodo announced on Dec. 30 that Indonesia would return 13,000 hectares of customary lands to nine indigenous communities, and committed to giving back a total of 12.7 million hectares to local and indigenous groups. Continue reading

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Indonesia’s forest concessionaires required to restore peatland

According to the Jakarta Post, the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) will require forest concessionaires to restore 1.4 million hectares of peatland starting in January 2017. The move is set to affect 650,389 hectares managed by 36 forest concessionaires in five provinces, namely South Sumatra, Central Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Riau and Jambi, BRG head Nazir Foead said. “The areas to be restored are equivalent to 26 percent of the total peatland restoration target,” Nazir said. Continue reading

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Customary forest within APRIL sister company concession granted to indigenous group

President Joko Widodo granted part of the customary forests lying within a Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) pulpwood concession to an indigenous group as a symbol of the state’s recognition of customary forests in Indonesia. The conflict between indigenous groups and the a pulpwood company PT TPL, a subsidiary of pulp giant RGE (also controlling APRIL)has been going on for years. Based on the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry’s data, there are eleven customary forest blocks spread throughout the TPL concession. The recognition given to the customary forests by the state, whereby they will be legally managed by the indigenous groups concerned, was a resolution made by the President. Indigenous groups have been struggling for and awaiting such a resolution for more than seven decades.

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The government rejected APRIL proposal on peat

The Environment and Forestry Minister ordered recently APRIL to remove the newly-planted acacia and close any new canals that had been opened in their concession. APRIL however stated that the order was not valid, claiming that removing the planted acacia would disrupt the ecological functions of the peatlands, making them vulnerable to peat fires and encroachment. APRIL also announced that it would not harvest the newly-planted acacia that made up part of its new peat development. But according to the Director General, APRIL has to accept the legal consequences of the peat violations it has carried out. He explained that the rejection was conveyed by letter in response to the letter sent by the APRIL company to the minister containing the rejected proposals.

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Indonesian network says APP should restore burned peatlands

Riau environmental coalition Jikalahari said that APP should remove the recently and unlawfully planted acacia, as ordered by the ministry: “we really hope that the APP companies exploiting last year’s burned peatlands face the full force of the law, both administrative and civil as well as criminal,” Jikalahari Chairwoman Woro Supartinah told foresthints.news

“The legal prohibition of this is clear. As such, APP must remove all the acacia they have replanted in last year’s burned peatlands,” Woro demanded “APP must not merely pull out all the acacia replanted in last year’s burned peatlands. It must also restore the burned peatlands it has misused” dded Woro.

The monitoring done by the ministry’s shows that no peat restoration efforts at all have been undertaken across APP’s related companies this year. On the contrary, some of them APP has been  found by replanting acacia in last year’s burned peatlands. Talking with Mongabay.com, APP claimed that the replanting has been authorised by the ministry, but the ministry recently stated otherwise.

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APP: the government confirms that APP has to remove the acacia illegally planted on burned peat

Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry has reiterated that no legal authorisation was ever granted to the giant conglomerate Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to replant acacia in last year’s burned peatlands scattered across the island of Sumatra, especially in its three concessions in South Sumatra province. The government issued a new regulation that forbid plantation development and planting on peat that has been burned in Autumn 2015, as this peat have to be restored. In November this year, APP has been found by illegally planting acacia n burned peat, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry imposed them to remove the newly planned acacia. According to Mongabay, however, APP commented offering only cryptic assurances that it follows “all government regulations and guidelines,” but  the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s director of production forests  Putera Parthama, told Mongabay that at least two APP units had been allowed to replant burned peat with acacia pulpwood trees. (PT Bumi Mekar Hijau and PT Bumi Andalas Permai.) as “it was for fire prevention.”

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Greenpeace and WWF disengage from APRIL’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Two key stakeholders of APRIL’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), Greenpeace and the WWF, have announced that they are suspending their engagement with the committee. The committee has been created to supervise the implementation of APRIL policy. However in the last months, implementation has been extremely slow, while the company has been found in major breaches, especially in the management of peatlands. Furthermore, on these issues the company has also proven little transparence, even towards the committee itself.

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No restoration in burned peatlands – APP found again illegally planting burned peatlands

After doing checks on the field, the Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry concluded that there has been no peat restoration activity this year in APP’s suppliers concessions. Instead, APP has been carrying out replanting of acacia in last year’s burned peatlands, an activity prohibited by a ministerial regulation since mid-December 2015. “As of early December this year, the ministry’s monitoring has led to the conclusion that no peat restoration efforts have been carried out in APP’s pulpwood concessions,” stated the ministry’ Director General San Afri Awang. According to the ministry, APP is also illegally replanting acacia in drained peat domes after the previous acacia harvest has been completed.

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Indonesian government revises regulation on peatland protection

The Indonesian government has issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 57/2016 as a revision of PP No. 71/2014 on peatland ecosystem management and protection.

“President Joko Widodo signed PP No. 57/2016 on December 2, 2016,” Secretary General of the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry Bambang Hendroyono said here, Tuesday.

The process of revising the government regulation had started in February 2016 with the support of other ministries.

The new PP places a permanent moratorium on peatland exploitation, stating that everyone is prohibited from clearing new land until a zoning system for the protection and cultivation of the peatland ecosystem is in place.

“PP No. 57/2016 shows the solid commitment of President Joko Widodo to peatland ecosystem protection,” stated San Afri Awang, who works with the Forestry Planology and Environmental Management section of the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry.

Natural succession, rehabilitation, and restoration are ways of improving the peatland ecosystem.

“Natural succession means restoration without any human intervention,” he explained.

In addition to the regulation, the government will also intensively monitor peatland restoration efforts.

Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has issued an assignment letter to San Afri, placing him in charge of a monitoring team for a peatland restoration operation.

“The government is very serious (about this). We will monitor it continuously and impose sanctions against violators. This is proof of the governments serious commitment to peatland restoration,” he added.

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The Indonesian government cancelled again APRIL working plan – even after its revision

The Ministry of the Environment and Forestry found that the company was planning to keep expanding pulpwood plantation in the Kampar Peninsula of Sumatra’s Riau province. The plan has been already refused back in October, due to illegal plantation expansion on peat in the Kampar Peninsula landscape. The ministry also carried out a ground inspection, discovering that business-as-usual practices have taken place in the concession’s peatlands, including new land clearing and canal development. The Ministry sent a letter to APRIL intimating to restore the plantation being developed, while the acacia that has already been planted and newly-developed canals closed.

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Indonesia President signs revised peat regulation

President Joko Widodo has signed a revised government regulation clarifying the Indonesian government’s level of commitment in providing protection and management of peatland ecosystems. large areas of pulp  plantations, alongside with palm oil plantations, has been established on peat soil, by draining peat and planting acacia. Drained peat release huge amounts of greenhouse gas (up to 80 tons/year/ha), provide the fuel for extensive fires, and in the long term lead to soil subsidence and seasonal flooding. To date, all pulp wood concessions are managed in a way that keep eroding the peat. Even the methodology based on zoning and controlling water level are not able to prevent the erosion. The revised regulation is aimed to address this situation.

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Indonesian civil society writes to Banks: APRIL failing to implement its own policy

The environmental coalition Jikalahari and the network of local communities of Riau province, JMGR, have sent two letters to banks, one each to Credit Suisse and ABN Amro, to share some concerns over what is happening on the ground in APRIL’s concessions in the Riau Province (in Sumatra, Indonesia). Credit Suisse has committed to help its customer APRIL to deliver a visible change in its activities. ABN Amro also has business with APRIL, and last May was involved in a new deal with this company for US$800 million, through a syndicated loan.

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Fornitore della APRIL multato per taglio illegale

A timber supplier of APRIL in Riau was fined by Supreme Court in August trial to pay compensation amount to 16.2 trillion (US$1.19 billion) for illegal logging and environmental destruction occurred during 2004-2006 in Pelalawan district, Riau province. PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari, an APRIL timber supplier since 2003, was found guilty conducting illegal logging of 5,590 hectares and environmental destruction of 1,873 hectares of its concession.
Report from Supreme Court website last week that quoted by media said that PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari, an APRIL timber supplier since 2003, was found guilty conducting illegal logging of 5,590 hectares and environmental destruction of 1,873 hectares of its concession.

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Google Earth images demonstrate true extent of burned peatlands in APP concessions

An accurate map showing the extent of last year’s widespread and destructive fires needs to be finalized by means of a spatial verification process and on-the-ground inspections, given that to date the Indonesian government is still referring to the existing, unverified indicative map.

In light of this, such on-the-ground verifications at the locations of the peat fires are being continuously undertaken by the Environment and Forestry Ministry, most notably in forestry concession areas.

Meanwhile, a spatial analysis performed by foresthints.news using Google Earth images demonstrates that not all the peatlands burned in the Sinarmas Forestry pulpwood concessions in South Sumatra province last year are covered in the existing indicative map of burned peatlands.

 Indonesia’s largest environmental NGO, WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia), has emphatically stated that last year’s widespread peat fires in Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)’s pulpwood concessions were intentional. Proof of this, WALHI asserts, lies in the fact that these burned peatlands have now been replanted with acacia by the giant pulp company.

According to the leading NGO, the use of burned peatlands for the replanting of acacia is a move aimed at pursuing targets, given that the acacia yielded from this replanting will later become a source of fiber supply for the new APP company, PT OKI Pulp and Paper Mills. This new mill, which has begun operations, is located in the vicinity of the burned peatlands in the APP concessions, major parts of which were burned last year.

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APP under the spotlight as another company found replanting burned peatlands

After revealing how a subsidiary of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), PT BAP, carried out land preparation and the replanting of acacia in last year’s burned peatlands, Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry has also now demonstrated that another APP company, PT BMH, whose concession is located adjacent to PT BAP’s, also conducted the same practices, which have been prohibited by the government since mid-December last year. Continue reading

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Indonesian authorities reject APP landscape conservation

Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry rejected APP plan for landscape conservation. The plan, released by the APP-driven Belantara Foundation, is aimed to “compensate” past damage by the company. However, according the Ministry, APP is just pretending get a green image by managing conservation in intact ecosystems, while their own concessions are managed by business-as-usual practices – including peat drainage and erosion. According to the Ministry, APP cannot lead conservation in ecosystems land outside their land bank, while failing to address the huge environmental impacts in their own concessions.
In the past months, APP presented its conservation project in numerous international forums as an exemplar case of corporate responsibility.

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Indonesia: pulp and paper giant blocking deforestation probe

Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF have claimed that the pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is dodging an independent enquiry into its deforestation practices in Indonesia by withdrawing from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). On June 22nd 2013, the FSC announced that APRIL had asked its certification bodies to withdraw all of its FSC Chain of Custody (COC) certificates. Continue reading

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Govt takes tough line against APP’s continual exploitation of burned peatlands

As if unaware of the existence of a regulation prohibiting land preparation and the replanting of last year’s burned peatlands in its pulpwood concessions, a subsidiary of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) operating in the province of South Sumatra has been shown to be conducting business-as-usual practices. This is according to a ground-check performed by Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

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APP: Illegal operations on burned peat

The Environment and Forestry Ministry found APP suppliers PT BAP continuing to carry out land preparation and replanting of acacia in last year’s burned peatlands, a few days after the Ministry also found an other APP suppliers, PT WBH doing the same thing, in direct contravention to a ministerial regulation issued in mid-December last year.

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APP criticised by Indonesian authorities for failing to change practices

Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry refused APP plan for landscape conservation. The plan, released by the APP-driven Belantara Foundation, is aimed to “compensate” past damage by the company. However, according the Ministry, APP is just pretending get a green image by managing conservation in intact ecosystems, while their own concessions are managed by business-as-usual practices – including peat drainage.
A Ministry Director General wondered how A Continue reading

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APRIL’s workplan annulled due to plantation expansion in Kampar Peninsula landscape

After conducting an evaluation of the 10-year work plan of PT RAPP, a subsidiary of APRIL, Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry took the decision to annul this work plan (Oct 4), owing in part to the new expansion of acacia plantation blocks in the company’s concessions, most notably in their estates located in the Kampar Peninsula landscape and on Pulau Padang, in Sumatra’s Riau province.

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Asia Pulp & Paper denial shown to be false

 In contradiction of the denial issued by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) stating that PT BMH is not a subsidiary of APP or the Sinarmas Forestry group, as was reported by Mongabay, legal documents officially submitted by PT BMH to the Environment and Forestry Ministry show that the company is indeed a subsidiary of the Sinarmas group. In light of this, foresthints.news sent an email to APP and Sinarmas Forestry asking whether they would be willing to respond, confirming the veracity or lack thereof of the legal documents, if the documents in question, which were in the possession of foresthints.news, were emailed to them. However, by time of the deadline provided foresthints.news had yet to receive any response from APP or the Sinarmas Forestry group.
In these official legal documents, PT BMH declares that it is part of and incorporated with the Sinarmas group. What’s more, PT BMH also writes that it is one of several subsidiaries of the Sinarmas group.

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Caught in illegal activities, APRIL send the security against the Peat Agency

APRIL controlled PT RAPP has been found converting peatlands and digging canals in the Padang Island (Sumatra) in violation with the law. The local community informed the Peat Agency about the facts. The Peat Restoration Agency has been created by the President with a strong mandate to protect and restore the peat after last year huge fires and the haze crisis. The fires were mostly linked to palm oil or pulp plantation companies, such as APRIL suppliers. The head of the agency, Nazir Foead, immediately organized a field inspection, together with forest rangers and officials form the Environment and Forests Ministry, but PT RAPP sent the security to prevent the inspection. Continue reading
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APP concession condemned for forest fires

The government required companies to restore the plantation land that has been burned in Autumn 2015. Great parts of three APP pulpwood concessions in South Sumatra were very seriously affected by these peat fires. In August this year, the High Court of Palembang (South Sumatra) declared that PT BMH (an other APP supplier) had committed an unlawful act with respect to peat fires in 2014.Sinarmas concessions in South Sumatra are key suppliers for the new huge APP mill that will start its operation by the end of the year in the OKI regency.

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Peat: a new paper rejects claims that drainage of peatlands for plantations can be sustainable

A new policy brief by Wetlands International and Tropenbos International calls for a thorough science-based approach, instead of some of the currently widely applied policies and management models, which have insufficiently considered the issue of peatland subsidence. In 2015 Indonesia was hit by a disastrous haze event caused by extensive peatland fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan. In response, the Indonesian government launched a national Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) with an ambitious target of restoring over 2 million hectares of peatlands by 2020. Success will depend on a proper understanding of the functioning of peatlands.

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Ministry begins law enforcement phase against major APRIL supplier

 As June entered its fourth week, Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry began the law enforcement phase with respect to the harvesting carried out by one of APRIL’s major suppliers, PT SRL, in acacia-planted blocks while the company’s permit suspension was still in effect. PT SRL’s permit was suspended by the Environment and Forestry Minister in mid-November 2015 after serious peat fires had occurred in its concession, for which the company, as the concession holder, was deemed legally responsible. However, from January to March 2016, during which time the permit suspension was still in force, the APRIL supplier continued to conduct on-the-ground operations, as proved by a spatial analysis performed by the ministry which showed that the concession’s acacia-planted blocks were still being harvested. Even though at the end of March 2016 the PT SRL permit suspension was lifted, one of the conditions of its lifting was that the APRIL supplier had not violated the terms of its permit suspension while it was in effect.
The harvesting of acacia plantation blocks while the permit suspension was in effect did in fact constitute a flagrant administrative violation which brought with it the potential for the concession permit to be revoked. Continue reading

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Burning cases closed by police, environmentalists moan

An environmentalist group urged the Indonesian Police Chief to review performance of Riau Police Chief for closing 11 out of 18 cases of companies investigated of allegedly intentional burnings hitting the province last year.  At a press conference, Jikalahari (Riau Forest Rescue NGO Network) said Tuesday here that the group revealed 11 corporates that acquitted from burning allegation as Letter to Close Case issued by the Riau Police recently.
The Riau Police side defended that there were no sufficient evidence found during the probe of 11 companies, media reports said. Continue reading

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Fires begin to appear en masse as Indonesia’s burning season gets going

Satellites on Wednesday recorded 145 fire-linked hotspots over Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra, down from 245 on Sunday, according to the country’s disaster management agency. It’s a far cry from last year’s crisis, when thousands of forest and peatland fires raged across the archipelagic country during the extended dry season brought on by El Nino, sending toxic haze pollution billowing across the region. But the uptick in hotspots signaled this year’s burning season may already be getting underway.

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New report demanding APRIL to stop plantations and start restoration of peat domes

Greenomics Indonesia released a report to demand APRIL to stop plantations and start restoration of peat domes. According to the report, data from the Peat Hydrological Unit of Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry suggest that 200,000 ha of concessions held by APRIL or its long-term supply partners lies on peat domes. Around a half, 100,000 ha has been already converted into acacia plantations. 

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New Indonesia mill raises doubts about APP’s forests pledge

Indonesia (AP) — A landmark commitment by one of the world’s largest producers of tissue and paper to stop cutting down Indonesia’s prized tropical forests is under renewed scrutiny as the company prepares to open a giant pulp mill in South Sumatra. To fanfare more than three years ago, Asia Pulp and Paper promised to use only plantation woods after an investigation by one of its strongest critics, Greenpeace, showed its products were partly made from the pulp of endangered trees.

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Operations of another APRIL supplier suspended over forest fires

Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, has suspended the operations of PT Rimba Lazuardi (RL), one of APRIL’s long-term suppliers located in Sumatra’s Riau province, as the company was found to have committed a number of violations with respect to last year’s forest fires. According to the Indonesian web platform Foresthints.news, the suspension of the company’s operations took effect from the middle of March 2016.

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Major APRIL supplier found in serious breach

According to the forest portal ForestHints.news, one of APRIL’s major suppliers, PT SRL, has reportedly violated the Environment and Forestry Minister’s decree freezing the license of this pulpwood plantation concession in mid-November 2015 due to its role in last year’s massive peat fires. The decree prohibited PT SRL from operating until it had met all the obligations demanded of it. In other words, the company would only be allowed to start operating again once another decree had been issued by the minister lifting the license suspension. Continue reading

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APP new mill, WWF has serious doubts about adequate fiber supply

An article published on Bisnis Indonesia daily, report APP plans to increase the production capacity of its new OKI pulp mill in South Sumatra from 2 millions tons to 2.8 millions. “We are not convinced that the raw material supply for the OKI mill will be sufficient”. commented Aditya Bayunanda, of WWF-Indonesia to foresthints.news. “Even before it was announced that the annual production capacity of the new APP mill would be increased, we already had serious doubts as to whether there would be an adequate fiber supply. Our doubts are greater than ever now that APP plans to increase the mill’s production capacity” “They always claim that if indeed the supply turns out to be inadequate, they will make up the shortfall through imports. However, importing acacia is not that simple. It’s not as if there is a ready stock stashed away somewhere. It’s not easy to import acacia, especially in large quantities,” added Aditya.
APP claimed that an independent study confirmed that the group has sufficient plantation resource to meet the pulp requirements of its existing mills as well as its future mill in OKI, South Sumatra. However, the study has never been made public, and the Rainforest Alliance, which was responsible for auditing it, noted that “a definitive answer of whether APP has enough plantation wood supply based on estimates from data gathered and analyzed 1.5 years ago is not possible”. The auditor added that the study only confined its scope for the period to 2020, giving no information about the future wood supply.
Recently, a coalition of Indonesian NGOs from South Sumatra released a report revealing that 26% of APP’s total planted area in the province has been lot in the forest fires in the province only.

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WWF: doubts about adequate fiber supply for APP new mill

An article published on Bisnis Indonesia daily, report APP plans to increase the production capacity of its new OKI pulp mill in South Sumatra from 2 millions tons to 2.8 millions. “We are not convinced that the raw material supply for the OKI mill will be sufficient”. commented Aditya Bayunanda, of WWF-Indonesia to foresthints.news. ” Even before it was announced that the annual production capacity of the new APP mill would be increased, we already had serious doubts as to whether there would be an adequate fiber supply. Our doubts are greater than ever now that APP plans to increase the mill’s production capacity”

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APP policy anniversary

During an event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Jakarta, Asia Pulp and Paper released today its Forest Conservation Policy Report
According to the company, the report reveals accelerated progress in peatland management:

  • More than 3,500 canals blocked as Peatland Best Practice Management Project accelerated
  • Agroforestry programme rolled out to improve community welfare while supporting protection of natural forests in the supply chain 
  • Belantara Foundation, initiated by APP, ready to manage and fund conservation projects in Indonesia 
  • Fire prevention measures strengthened with implementation of new Integrated Fire Management Strategy

Comments by NGOs however are more skeptical. While they recognize the effort by APP to improve forest and peatland management, land conflict and social issues, and landscape conservation and restoration, according to NGOs implementation on the ground reveals major failure. Continue reading

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NGOs send a letter to APRIL on peat management in the Kampar peninsula

A group of NGO sent today a letter to APRIL on peat management in the Kampar Peninsula.
APRIL recently  announced a peatland restoration project. However, at the same time, the company is continuing to drain peatlands in the same region, for pulp plantations.

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Forest fires: more APP plantations licenses suspended

Indonesia is punishing more than 20 companies in an unprecedented move for starting deadly forest fires that killed 19 people, a government official said Tuesday. The companies – most of them pulp wood plantations operating on concession land in Sumatra and Kalimantan – have had their business licences suspended. The firms include BMH and SWI, which have concessions in South Sumatra. BMH is a supplier to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in Indonesia. BMH, SWI and APP have the same parent company, the Sinar Mas Group. The suspensions would be lifted if, within the next two years, the companies show that they have made significant progress in efforts to prevent future fires. Continue reading

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38,000 ha APRIL concession frozen by the Minister

In November 2015, the Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry froze the license of a large concession block belonging to a major supplier of APRIL, (38,000 ha) on Rupat Island, in Sumatra’s Riau province, since the company had been found to have violated the relevant prevailing regulations in its operations in the block. One of the sanctions incurred by the company in question was an obligation to apologize to the public through the mass media.
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New report: drained plantations on peat in the Kampar Peninsula cannot be sustained

A new Deltaresreport, commissioned by Wetlands International, reconfirms that pulp wood and oil palm plantations in peatlands cannot be managed sustainably. Such drained plantations will inevitably suffer from severe land subsidence, increasing flooding and eventually production loss. The report also provides evidence that fires only occurred in drained peatlands and therefore inside or near plantations.

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Greenomics: APP related concession licenses frozen by the government due forest fires

Greenomics release today a new report on Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). According to thereport, two concessions linked to APP in South Sumatra have had their licenses frozen following the recent land and forest fires. In November 2015, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry froze the license of PT Bumi Mekar Hijau (BMH) – an APP-linked concessionaire, whose concession is located in the province of South Sumatra, Sumatra island, Indonesia – because of the massive burning that occurred on its 250,000-hectare concession. Almost 400,000 hectares of APP-linked concessions located in peatland areas have had their licenses frozen.

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New report: 70% burned area inside forest concessions in south sumatra links to APP

A group of Indonesian NGOs from South Sumatra released a new report analyzing the forest fires in the region. According to the report, the the was majority of burned areas is inside concession related to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP):

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New Greenomics report on Asia Pulp & Paper

Greenomics Indonesia released today areport highlighting the case of a pulpwood concession associated with APP, with has been illegally established and eventually burned. According to Greenmails, “a legally-established HCVF (High Conservation Value Forest) area, the size of more than a thousand football fields, has been developed as a pulpwood plantation on the concession of an APP-linked company, PT Rimba Hutani Mas (RHM), which operates in the province of South Sumatra, Sumatra Island, Indonesia. The HCVF area in question, which constitutes a riverine buffer zone, was partly burned during the uncontrolled land and forest fires in September-October 2015.”

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Greenomics: two APRIL joint venture companies are clearing forested deep peatlands in the Kampar Peninsula Landscape

A new report released today by Greenomics Indonesia concludes that APRIL has not been able to eliminate deforestation and peatland destruction from its supply chain. Greenomics noted that two APRIL joint venture companies – PT UNISERAYA and PT TRIOMAS – are continuing to clear deep forested peatlands for oil-palm plantation development in the Kampar Peninsula Landscape, Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The two APRIL joint venture companies also own pulpwood plantation concessions (granted in their own names) in the Kampar Peninsula Landscape that supply pulpwood to APRIL’s mills.

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WWF to buyers: wait before restart business relationship with APP

WWF released this week an advisory to buyers and investors of Sinar Mas and Asia Pulp & Paper. WWF suggests that buyers wait and see until an independent audit will prove that APP has made significant progress in implementing its policy on the ground. Continue reading

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NGOs letter to government and buyers

Forest fires Indonesia continue to burn on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and are on track to release more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire US economy this year. Today, a coalition of Indonesian NGOs today sent an open letter to the government and to international buyers of pulp and paper and palm oil from Indonesia.
A coalition of Indonesian NGOs sent today a letter to the government and to the buyers. “Is now more than 100 days that people in Sumatra and Kalimantan suffered from uncontrollable haze” says the letter. The haze is coming from forest fires related to forest conversion and plantation management, especially on dried peat soil, and exacerbated by El Nino.

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Wetlands International calls for National Peatland Strategy in Indonesia to curb haze disaster

Indonesia can only curb the annual fires and haze disasters if it develops a National Peatland Conservation and Restoration Strategy, according toWetlands International, which presented its recommendations to press today.

In its position statement, Wetlands International emphasizes that Indonesia must address the root cause of the problems and therefore the only long-term answer is sustainable peatland management and restoration. Though Indonesia has various peatland regulations, an overarching strategy is lacking, which is vital for the necessary coordination between ministries and local and regional governments. Continue reading

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Haze and forest fires linked to Asia Pulp & Paper

The Indonesian NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest (EoF) published a set of maps showing that fibre suppliers related to the forestry and paper conglomerate Sinar Mas / Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) are linked to the forest fires and haze crisis.

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Greenomics: APRIL clearing High Conservation Value Forests

Greenomics Indonesia released a report that show how APRIL cleared High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF), in breach with its own policy and even with the legislation, as the illegal clearance of legally-established HCVF areas constitutes a serious violation of forestry law.

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Singapore: supermarket chains remove all Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) products from stores

Singaporean supermarket chains are removing all Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) products from their shelves. According to the newspaper StraitsTimes, NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong and Prime Supermarket started to remove APP’s products.
The Dairy Farm group, which operates chains such as Guardian, 7-Eleven, Cold Storage and Giant, has also stopped replenishing APP stock, but it will continue to sell existing items till they run out.
The actions come after the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) temporarily suspended the APP’s exclusive distributor Universal Sovereign Trading’s use of their green label pending further investigations.
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Indonesia arrests seven company executives for illegal forest fires

According to The Straits Times, Indonesian police nabbed seven corporate executives on September 16 in connection with illegal forest fires across Sumatra and Kalimantan, as part of a wide-ranging effort to arrest the haze crisis. Suspects from the latest bust included a senior executive from Bumi Mekar Hijau, a unit of Singapore-based Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is also Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper producer. The national impetus, revealed on Wednesday, includes deploying more police to help with firefighting and handling probes against culprits, and increasing cloud-seeding sorties to douse the blazes, especially those burning on dry peatlands.

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Indonesian president Joko Widodo calls on strong measure against companies burning forest

Indonesian president Joko Widodo called stern measures against companies involved in forest and land fires burning by rescinding their licenses, media report said. Sumatra and Kalimantan provinces are hit by forest fires and thick haze that paralyzed air transportation, closed schools and escalating upper respiratory infection suffered by residents due to hazardous levels of air pollution index.
“I already gave the order to the forestry minister: take firm action against the perpetrators,” Joko told reporters at Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma air base on Sunday as quoted as saying by The Jakarta Globe on Monday. Joko visited a palm oil concession in Ogan Komering Ilir district raged by fires. Continue reading

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NGOs question APRIL’s policy implementation as APRIL’s breach of deforestation moratorium proven

APRIL published an audit report by its consultant Hatfield which confirmed an Eyes on the Forest report that APRIL’s wood supplier, PT. Adindo Hutani Lestari (AHL) in North Kalimantan, had breached APRIL’s forest and peatland clearance moratorium starting 15 May 2015. The moratorium was part of the company’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy 2.0 published on 3 June as well as part of Royal Golden Eagle’s “Forestry, Fibre, Pulp & Paper Sustainability Framework” published on 2 June. Continue reading

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Indonesia, the new Atlantis: how much land will go underwater?

key word is peatlands. Peat is an accumulation of decayed vegetation accumulated in the swamp forests of Sumatra and Borneo. In the last ten years the land-rush for oil palm and pulp wood plantations targeted the peat-forests, that has been logged, drained and converted into plantations. But the nature is taking it revenge: once drained, peat oxidizes, and while releasing huge amounts of carbon in the atmosphere, it simply disappears. The soil level drops down, a phenomena that is called o “soil subsidence”. As a result, extensive regions of South East Asia will be irreversibly flooded by fresh or even by salty water.

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APRIL announcing a new new forest conservation

Indonesia second biggest pulp and paper company announced today an immediate moratorium on logging in natural forests. After many years of environmental and social conflicts, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) announced the end of deforestation, together with a number of measures that will improve its previous forest policy. Environmental organizations, with different tones, welcome the move but remain cautious, waiting to look how the policy will be implemented on the ground. They also suggested some issues that need to be addressed during the implementation, and Environmental Paper Network will facilitate this process. Continue reading

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Norwegian children´s books are destroying the rainforest

Little Red Riding Hood and Postman Pat are destroying the rainforest. Independent forensic fiber tests commissioned by the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) reveal significant quantities of mixed tropical hardwood in nearly half of the 24 books tested. RFN now calls on the publishers to clean up their supply chains.

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APRIL found clearing natural forest in green belt, supplying natural woods to pulp mill

PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), major concession of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), was found by Indonesian NGOs coalition Eyes on the Forest clearing natural forest in its concession of district/sector Ukui, Tesso Nilo landscape, Riau province. It is believed that APRIL’s supplier clearing green belt that located near Nilo River which is allegedly against the Forestry Law.

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Gaps in Indonesia’s forest legality verification system: paper importers at risk

Indonesia’s wood products audit and certification system remains inadequate in assuring legality, a new briefing released by rhe Raininforest Action Network finds. The briefing provides detailed recommendations about how the system can be improved to address these shortcomings. Buyers wishing to avoid products that violate community legal rights, as well as authorities charged with enforcing import legality legislation, should refrain from relying solely on the verification system for assurance that products certified by the system comply with Indonesian law.

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Indonesia’s timber legality certification under scrutiny

The NGO Anti Forest Mafia Coalition released a report on the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) to scrutinize whether it and the actual Timber Legality (LK), Sustainable Production Forest Management (PHPL) and V-Legal certificates can guarantee the legality and sustainability of Indonesian timber products.

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Greenomics Indonesia: more than 4,000 hectares of deep peat forest lost on APP supplier concession

According to a new press release by Greenomics Indonesia, more than 4,000 hectares (or more than 10,000 acres) of forested deep peatlands have been lost on a concession belonging to one of the largest suppliers of APP, located in the province of West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The loss of the said forested deep peatlands has been significant over the course of just three months, from late June to mid-September 2014.

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Brutal murder at APP concession

On Friday, Indra Kailani (23) of Lubuk Mandarsah was killed by security guards hired by Asia Pulp & Paper sister company PT. Wirakarya Sakti (WKS) in Bukit Tigapuluh landscape, Jambi Province, Sumatra. On the day of the murder, “Tebo Farmers Group (Serikat Petani Tebo)” including the village was organizing a rice harvest festival. Indra came to a security post in the District 8 of WKSconcession to pick up Nick Karim of Walhi Jambi to join the festival, then the security guards started to quarrel with Indra, then at least 7 security guards started to beat him up. Walhi Jambi reported that Nick asked one security guard to help Indra from the brutal attack, but the guard rejected it. Nick then left the post to inform his colleagues and villagers of the incident. By the time Nick returned with roughly 30 villagers, Indra was missing and the security officer on duty denied knowing anything about the incident. Police in Tebo district were alerted and conducted a search Friday evening. Indra’s body was discovered the next day in swamp forest area 7 km away from the guard post, and roughly 400 meters from the road. Indra’s feet were bound with rope and his mouth stuffed with a t-shirt. His body showed signs of severe beating. Witnesses said that his corpse was taken by a car while his head was covered by his own shirt.

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New footage catches APRIL destroying the rainforest in Borneo

Greenpeace released a new set of photos documenting Indonesian rainforest destruction by the paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL). The video was shot in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. It shows APRIL’s bulldozers systematically destroying ancient rainforest.

APRIL is the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia. APRIL claims to plant 150 million trees every year, but these are mostly in industrial pulp plantations established after clearing rainforests. This process involves the complete destruction of the natural ecosystem and replacement by a monoculture, causing biodiversity loss, emissions of greenhouse gases from high-carbon peatland soils and in many cases conflicts with local communities. In 2015 APRIL suppliers are still clearing natural forests, and APRIL’s forest policy allows the company to keep using natural forest fibre until 2020.

According to Mongabay, Banking giant Santander, criticized by Greenpeace for having loaned APRIL millions of euro, announced today that it will not extend further financing to this company. “Based on further internal analysis, Banco Santander has decided to not renew the current funding to APRIL and will not be extending further funding at this stage. Any future loans will be conditional on APRIL implementing new sustainability measures which address its involvement with deforestation.”

 

 

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WWF: Many paper products in the German retail sector contain tropical wood

Paper products from the German retail sector often contain tropical wood, as analyses by WWF have revealed. Over the past few months, the environmental protection organisation, WWF, got the composition of a total 144 different products, including writing paper, note books, photo albums and address books examined. The results showed that tropical wood was found in almost 20 percent of the cases. “The results reflect badly on the companies,” said Johannes Zahnen, advisor for biodiversity at WWF Germany. “They allow cheap production in South-East Asia, without seriously thinking about the origin of the wood.”

The companies whose products were found to contain tropical wood include among others Depesche, Iden and Carstensen, whose items can be bought in almost every supermarket. According to legislation, companies are obliged to ensure the legality of certain paper products that are imported from abroad. A first step in the process is knowledge of the origin and type of wood used. However, according to Johannes Zahnen, the retailers have already failed to meet this necessary minimum requirement. He said: “They either did not know that their products contained tropical wood or they simply denied it. It is a clear infringement of the legal requirements.” Therefore, WWF is examining whether to press charges.

According to WWF, there is also an ecological and social obligation for the companies as well as the legal requirements. If tropical wood is found in paper, it generally comes from natural forests. “The rain forests of South-East Asia are an important habitat for many rare species of animals and plants. And they also play a decisive role for the global climate,” said Zahnen. He added that the destruction of the tropical forest for paper production is also especially annoying because environmentally compatible alternatives, such as recycled paper or paper from FSC certified production, have long been available.

 

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Rainforest Alliance: an evaluation of APP’s progress to meet its forest policy

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) released today first independent evaluation of its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) made by the Rainforest Alliance. The evaluation concludes that the company has made moderate progress towards meeting its commitments, but it also highlighted a number of shortcoming that need to be addressed. Continue reading

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APRIL’s policy anniversary without real gain, as deforestation continues

One year ago the second largest Indonesian paper company APRIL published a “Sustainable Forest Management Policy”, to try to regain customers it had lost because of its unsustainable impacts on the environment, on local communities and on the global climate. But NGOs say the policy doesn’t address APRIL’s impacts, and has not even been properly implemented. Deforestation and social conflict continues.

‘After one year, we really do not see the significance of their policy. The commitments and the realities do not make sense. They are simply implementing business as usual,’ said Muslim Rasyid, Coordinator of Jikalahari, in a note published by Eyes on the Forest.

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South Sumatra NGOs monitoring FPIC implementation at APP new mill

South Sumatra environmental organizations published their monitoring report on “APP’s FPIC implementation on affected communities surrounding PT. OKI Pulp Mill”. Wahana Bumi Hijau (WBH), Sarekat Hijau Indonesia, Yayasan Bakau, and JPIK South Sumatra conducted monitoring on new huge APP’s OKI pulp mill that is under construction in Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI) district which based on Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) standard operating procedure.

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NGOs call on 26 banks to divest from APRIL

Two environmental groups sent letters to 26 banks in several countries as attempt “to express their concerns regarding the pulp and paper companies Asia Pacific Resources Limited (APRIL), Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) and their sister companies under the conglomerate Royal Golden Eagle Group (RGE), due to their involvement in large scale deforestation and social conflicts. The Environmental Paper Network and Banktrack have sent the letters to the banks asking assurance from them “that they are not currently investing in any of these companies, and that they will not do so until the RGE group ends its illegal and unsustainable environmental and social practices and achieves a performance consistent with the EPN Performance Milestones,” the organizations said. Continue reading

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Deforestation is going on at APRIL concessions

A new report released today by Eyes on the Forest present the findings of a new field investigation at APRIL concession (PT RAPP) in Pulau Padang. The report confirms the findings by a joint field expedition organized by European, Chinese and North American EPN (Environmental Paper Network) last September.

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Switzerland: children books linked to deforestation

Among a total of 50 books tested by WWF Switzerland, five books contained “tropical mixed fibre”. This means that this paper has been made with tropical natural forest. WWF Switzerland bought 50 books in bookshops and kiosks and sent them to the “Institute for Paper Science and Technology” at the University of Darmstadt (Germany) to test their content. The results are troubling: the content of Mixed Tropical Timber ranges from 8 to 15 percent.

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Riau Governor named suspect in a land conversion bribery case

Just eight months of ruling as governor, the newly elected Riau governor was caught red-handed by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) at his residence in Cibubur, East Jakarta, late last month.

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NGOs coalition lodges corruption cases against 27 pulp suppliers

A coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations lodged corruption cases involving 27 forestry companies in Riau to anti-corruption commission (KPK) in Jakarta Tuesday, media reports said. Coalition of Anti-Forest Mafia (Koalisi Anti-Mafia Hutan/KAMH) filed 27 pulpwood suppliers associated to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) for allegedly bribing Riau government officials for issuing licenses in period of 2002-2006.

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Nine government agencies support the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights to reduce deforestation

According to a recent press report, the nine main Indonesian government agencies concerned with lands and forests have declared their support for indigenous peoples’ rights. The Declaration was issued jointly on 1st September 2014 by the Coordinating Ministry of People’s Welfare, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, National Land Agency (BPN), the National Geospatial Information Agency, National Commission on Human Rights, and the national REDD+ Agency.

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APRIL supplier continues deforestation, in breach of APRIL’s policy

A wood supplier of APRIL in North Kalimantan province, PT. Adindo Hutani Lestari (AHL), was confirmed to have continued natural forest clearance on deep peat without HCV assessment peer-reviewed by the HCV Resource Network (HCVRN). Findings of an investigative report by GAPETA Borneo, RPHK and WWF on the continued forest clearance by AHL in violation of APRIL’s policy were checked by a joint team of the authoring NGOs, APRIL, AHL and APRIL’s long-term HCV assessor, Tropenbos Indonesia, between 10-12 June 2014.

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Rate of deforestation in Indonesia overtakes Brazil, says study

Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil, despite its forest being a quarter the size of the Amazon rainforest.

Indonesia has greatly under-reported how much primary rainforest it is cutting down, according to the government’s former head of forestry data gathering. Continue reading

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APRIL violates its new sustainability policy in North Kalimantan

NGOs in Kalimantan call on PT. Adindo Hutani Lestari (AHL), a pulpwood supplier of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd. (APRIL), to immediately stop clearance of natural forest in Tana Tidung, North Kalimantan.

GAPETA Borneo, Kalimantan Forest Monitoring NGOs (RPHK) and WWF-Indonesia East Kalimantan released a new joint report today revealing that AHL has continued to clear natural forest on protected peat after APRIL issued its Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) in January 2014. AHL cleared even High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) identified by an APRIL commissioned assessment.

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APRIL violates its new sustainability policy in North Kalimantan

 

NGOs in Kalimantan call on PT. Adindo Hutani Lestari (AHL), a pulpwood supplier of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd. (APRIL), to immediately stop clearance of natural forest in Tana Tidung, North Kalimantan. GAPETA Borneo, Kalimantan Forest Monitoring NGOs (RPHK) and WWF-Indonesia East Kalimantan released a new joint report today revealing that AHL has continued to clear natural forest on protected peat after APRIL issued its Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) in January 2014. AHL cleared even High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) identified by an APRIL commissioned assessment.

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Endangered Sumatran tiger dies in trap on APP concession in Indonesia

Recently word came to Greenpeace in Indonesia that a Sumatran tiger was stuck in an animal trap on the border of an Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) concession. It was trapped for six days in total without food or water. After a week of suffering forest officers arrived to evacuate the tiger – but it was too late. The tiger died during the rescue attempt.

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Environmental Paper Network welcomes Asia Pulp and Paper’s announcement

The Environmental Paper Networks (EPN) of Europe and North America cautiously welcome today’s announcement by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) of a plan to work with global and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to restore and support the conservation of one million hectares of rainforest across Indonesia.
With its announcement, APP commits to all elements of “The First Test”, a set of Performance Milestones developed by the EPN in September last year (1), to guide the company towards ending its controversial practices. The Milestones’ scope is not intended as a standard for responsible paper production, but rather as a first step towards activity consistent with the EPN and EEPN Common Vision for sustainable paper production, trade and use (2).

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APRIL continued destroying rainforest up until January pledge

Plantation giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) continued to source fiber produced by destruction of high conservation value forests in Sumatra right up until it committed to a new forest conservation policy, according to an investigative report issued by Eyes of the Forest, a coalition of environmental groups in Riau.

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Forest Advocates to Staples: It’s Too Soon To Buy From Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)

Activists with Rainforest Action Network (RAN) staged a protest today at a Staples store in El Cerrito, Ca to communicate their objection to the office supply giant’s recent decision to resume purchasing paper from Indonesia’s highly controversial company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Staples was one of dozens of major customers to cut APP as a paper supplier due to its well documented involvement in rainforest destruction and human rights abuses in Indonesia.

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In a week Riau hotspots notches 1605 as 474 found in pulp concessions

The second week of month showed the most fire hotspots found in Riau province since fires and haze returned from January. There are total 1605 hotspots detected in Riau by Eyes on the Forest based on NASA Modis Fire monitoring in period of 13-19 February. By concessions, pulpwood plantation or officially called industrial timber plantation (HTI) 474 hotspots found which APRIL’s affiliated concessions had 245, while its competitor APP’s with 223 hotspots. Continue reading

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Andritz receives Austrian “Eyesore of the Year” award and signs on to yet another disastrous project

The Austrian company Andritz received the “Eyesore of the Year 2013” award for its involvement in three dam projects with tremendous negative ecological and human rights impacts: Xayaburi in Laos, Belo Monte in Brazil as well as Ilisu in Turkey. At the beginning of this week the company signed the contracts for yet another disastrous mega-project: a gigantic pulp mill in the middle of Sumatra’s rainforests. This new project involvement underlines the reasons for Andritz receiving this award, as it continuously takes part in some of the worst projects in the world.

 

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APRIL supplier tried for environmental damage loss

A civil code trial on alleged pollution and environmental damage that involved one supplier of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) belonging to tycoon Sukanto Tanoto’s Royal Golden Eagle group took place at the Pekanbaru Court in January, media reported. The prosecutors sued PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari, the APRIL’s supplier, with  two logging losses which inflicted to the State deficit of Rp 16 trillion during 2004, 2005, and 2006 in Pelalawan district, mongabay.co.id and rct.or.id reported recently.

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APP one year forest conservation policy anniversary

On February 5th Asia Pulp & paper the 1st year anniversary of its Forest Conservation Policy. To celebrate, APP organized a round table inviting Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and WWF. A year ago, with the launch of its FCP, APP committed an end to all deforestation activities across the 2.6m hectares of land in Indonesia on which it operates. Under the agreement APP pledged that all of its suppliers would adhere to the moratorium and that it would develop a system of sustainable forestry and conservation through work with the government, local communities and businesses.

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WWF: advisory to buyers and investors of APRIL issued

World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) issued an advisory to buyers and investors of Royal Golden Eagle/Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (RGE/APRIL) following announcement by APRIL last week to apply its Sustainable Forest Management Policy. Last week Jikalahari and Walhi Riau, environmental groups in Riau, blasted the APRIL’s sustainable policy as it was “a trick to destroy the remaining natural forest embedded with their illegal and problematic  permits in Riau province.” Muslim Rasyid, Jikalahari coordinator, said to Eyes on the Forest  â€œThis policy is remains the same as HCVF policy which they often break, and it has no significant relation to the forest protection…For example, one of their point of commitment state that they will stop destroying natural forest  after 2019.” Kampar Peninsula  and Pulau Padang area identified as HHCVF based on APRIL assessment, however they continue to convert the forest into  acacia plantation, he said.

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Cautious reactions to APRIL’s new commitment

Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL) has released a new Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP). The company will establish a moratorium on clearing in concessions where there has not been independent assessment of conservation values. APRIL also promised that it will complete plantation establishment by the end of 2014. APRIL is one of the most controversial paper companies, having cleared tropical rain forests of Sumatra, violating local community’s rights, threatening endangered species such as Sumatran Tiger, and releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere by converting peatlands into pulpwood plantations. Continue reading

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APRIL faces expulsion from business sustainability group

Indonesian pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (ARPIL) faces expulsion from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a body of 200 large companies that have made sustainability commitments, if it fails to stop clearing rainforests and peatlands on the island of Sumatra, reports Greenpeace. Continue reading

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Indonesian NGO doubting on zero-deforestation commitment

Riau Forest Rescue Network (Jikalahari) reveals massive deforestation by industrial plantation companies during 2013 that also includes the green group’s doubts on paper giant company’s commitment to save Riau’s natural forest and peatlands seriously. Continue reading

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APRIL partner accused of illegal deforestation

>An Indonesian wood supplier that was recently certified under the country’s legal timber verification scheme has been clearing natural forests – including stands of endangered ramin trees – and draining peat swamps on its concession, alleges a local environmental watchdog. The company, the group says, is also implicated in corruption linked to its concession permit. The organization is calling for the company’s legal timber certification to be revoked and urging auditors not to issue legality certificates to companies involved in corruption. 

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Ikea adopt a purchasing policy to prevent links with deforestation in Southeast Asia

After being exposed by the German NGO Robin Wood for having paper products linked to deforestation in Indonesia (Mixed Tropical Hardwood and Acacia) the Swedish furniture giant Ikea communicated a new policy on paper based products. Until to the end of May 2014 the production of “the whole Paper Shop range” will be converted to “fiber sources of either fully FSC-certified wood or recycled”. This policy was disclosed in writing by Anders Hildeman, Global Forestry Manager with Ikea, to Robin Wood, after the environmental organization had published the results of fiber analyses.

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Kalimantan network exposes APP’s moratorium violation in Borneo

A Kalimantan-based NGOs consortium dedicated to monitoring deforestation in Indonesia’s part of Borneo released an investigative report on Tuesday, December 17th 2013, which reveals APP’s violation to its own self-imposed moratorium by the clearance of up to 1,400 ha natural forest. Continue reading

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APRIL accused of violating social-conflict mediation’s agreement

Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) allegedly violated its self-declared Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) commitment as it continued natural forest clearance in Bagan Melibur village of Padang Island, Riau province, an environmental group said.

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Peatlands clearing in Kalimantan despite moratorium

RPHK (Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan), an NGO coalition in Kalimantan (Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan – RPHK) released a report revealing that the “forest conservation policy” of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) / Sinar Mas Forestry (SMG) announced in February failed to protect up to 1,400 hectares of natural forest in West Kalimantan province. Field investigation and Landsat image analysis shot that these forests were cleared inside PT Daya Tani Kalbar concession, after APP’s self-imposed moratorium on logging and land clearing form 1st February.

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APP subsidiaries involved in Ramin harvesting in 2012

 

Latest report published by Greenomics Indonesia, an NGO, disclosed Tuesday that two suppliers of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in South Sumatra and West Kalimantan provinces had found clearing and supplying protected Ramin logs.

The Investigation by Ministry of Forestry was conducted in responding Greenpeace report “The Ramin Paper Trail” (March 2012) which now has proved that PT Rimba Hutani Mas and PT Kalimantan Subur Permai, the two APP subsidiaries, involved in felling and supplying ramin logs to APP pulp mill. Continue reading

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Riau Governor tried for issuing permits to pulp suppliers

The first trial on corruption cases involving Riau Governor Rusli Zainal who is accused to paid bribe in PON 2012 national games scandal and accepted bribery in issuing forest logging permits for pulp and paper timber suppliers held on last Wednesday (6/11) in Pekanbaru Corruption Court. Continue reading

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Greenpeace ‘progress report’ on APP

Nine months after the announcement of the policy, the report highlight where according to Greenpeace, APP is on the right track, and where “there is still room for improvement”.

These needed improvements were clearly identified in a joint document developed by Greenpeace and number of NGOs, and released last month by the North American and European Environmental Paper Networks (EPN and EEPN). The EPN document “The First Test, performance milestones”, highlighted further commitments and actions that are still required by APP.

For example, NGOs are urging APP to commit to address its legacy of past impacts on forests, peatlands, communities and biodiversity and participate in a process to support landscape level conservation measures across its operations and other important forest, peatland and wildlife landscapes in Indonesia. NGOs are also calling on APP to end the acceptance of any Mixed Tropical Hardwood in any of its mills by January 1st, 2014 and to publish a clear policy to ensure its commitment to no further association with deforestation after 1 February 2013 is applied to any future acquisitions or third party fibre sources. Continue reading

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APRIL: restauration or green-washing?

Giant pulp and paper company, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL), announced a new “restoration project” on the heavily degraded peatlands in Kampar Peninsula, Riau province, Sumatra. Meanwhile, in the same habitat, the company keeps converting healthy peat forests into plantations. Last month Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) banned the company to associate the giant’s products with the certification agency.

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Global Green Groups Release Performance Milestones to Evaluate Progress of Asia Pulp and Paper Deforestation Pledge

Global Green Groups Release Performance Milestones to Evaluate Progress of Asia Pulp and Paper Deforestation Pledge Collaboration Involving Rainforest Action Network, WWF, Greenpeace and Indonesian NGOs Presents ‘Performance Milestones’ to Business Community, Other stakeholders, via Live Webinar

Asheville/Berlin/Jakarta – The Environmental Paper Network programs in Europe and North America today released seven “Performance Milestones” necessary to verify the implementation of commitments made by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) under the company’s Sustainability Roadmap – Vision 2020 and latest Forest Conservation Policy. Continue reading

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APP: NGOs proposes “Performance Milestones”

The Environmental Paper Network invites interested parties to register and join us on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at 17:00 (Central Europe) 22:00 (Jakarta) 16:00 (London) 11:00 (New York) 08:00 (California) for the introduction of “Performance Milestones” to assess the implementation of commitments made under Asia Pulp and Paper’s ‘Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020’ and Forest Conservation Policy.

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Indonesia: encroachment-hit, Tesso Nilo raged by fires as haze returns to Riau

Fires hotspots likely got its peak this month on Tuesday (27 August) seeing the 5th largest number of hotspots (758) recorded since 1 June this year, as 26% of that found inside the Tesso Nilo complex. In June this year, EoF published data on the Indonesia’s worst fire season in recent years with serious smoke choking the region and neighboring Singapore and southern Malaysia and published some field photos. After two months, many fires are happening in Riau again where schools closed and some flights canceled due to thick haze. Dust of fires also falls to the ground in Pekanbaru and some areas in the province. Continue reading

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FSC dissociates from APRIL

A recent statement issued by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) confirms that the paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) is officially banned from using the FSC trademark to market its pulp and paper products. This decision follows a formal complaint submitted by Greenpeace, WWF Indonesia and Rainforest Action Network that APRIL was in violation of its Policy of Association. The joint-NGO complaint to the FSC documents continued large-scale deforestation activities, pervasive social conflicts and violations of human rights in Indonesia by APRIL and other companies within the RGE group. 

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Pulp & paper industry blamed for forest fires in Indonesia

Pulp & Paper industry is among the drivers of peat and forest fires in Sumatra.According Eyes on the Forest, pulpwood plantation got most hotspots detected and published on an online map.  1797 hotspots are linked to the paper industry, with 930 in APRIL concessions, and 867 in concessions related to APP. It is Further 1361 hotspots were detected in palm oil concessions, and 311 protected areas. The remaining 3469 hotspot are located in areas beyond those uses including out of concession areas, and selective logging concessions.

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Sumatran elephant at risk

WWF urged the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry to immediately enforce the legislation on elephant deaths. According to the environmental organization, over 100 elephants have been found dead in Riau, Sumatra, since 2004, where the government failed to enforce the law. “In May, there have been three elephants found dead in Tesso Nilo,” said Syamsidar, of WWF. Continue reading

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APRIL: one hand restoring, the other deforesting

Despite a restoration program organized by a company affiliated to pulp giant in Kampar Peninsula, Riau province, launched and endorsed by the Ministry of Forestry, environmentalists criticized it as a manuoevre by wo-faced company which merely seek benefit from credit carbon scheme. In the first week of May, Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan, in Jakarta inaugurated the million-dollar ecosystem restoration program initiated by PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), a subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL). The restoration program of around 20 thousand hectares of deep peat Kampar Peninsula forest in Riau is planned to overcome forest degradation and deforestation, said APRIL management as reported by media. Continue reading

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Child labour in APP’s main supplier revealed

Police have saved eight children working for main supplier of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in Pulau Muda, Pelalawan district, and nabbed a contractor recruiting the children from North Sumatra province, media report said. Police of Asahan district have evacuated the children to their homes in Kisaran, North Sumatra, after working at APP’s PT Arara Abadi in Kerumutan forest block for four months when they were not paid completely by the employer, Kompas.com reported based on Kompas TV coverage (31 May 2013). Continue reading

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Indonesian NGOs call for improvement of APP’s Forest Conservation Policy

Eleven social and environmental civil society groups and networks sent a joint letter to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) on 24 April 2013, explaining the substantial social and conservation issues APP has failed to address adequately in its Forest Conservation Policy and associated documents. On 5 February 2013, the Sinar Mas Group’s Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) published a new “Forest Conservation Policy” (FCP). Since then, SMG/APP organized several “focus group discussion” meetings with various Indonesian NGOs to socialize their policy and the “Standard Operational Procedures (SOP)” or Protocols it developed to implement it. Continue reading

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More protests against APRIL

After being criticized by environmental organizations for its poor forest practices, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is now facing protest by local communities. The students association of Pelalawan district protested at the main office of APRI’s sublidy and main supplier, PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) for failing in bringing employment for locals as well as for the lack of transparency industrial waste the management. Hipmawan, the Pelalawan students association, staged protest in Pekanbaru last week by spreading banners and speech blaming ignorance by the pulp giant, local media reported. Hipmawan told journalists that PT RAPP’s existence in the district has caused more losses to the community’s living rather than the benefit. Hipmawan collected evidence of environmental destruction impacted by APRIL’s main supplier in Kampar River due to pulp mill waste, gagasanriau.com online magazine reported. Continue reading

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Not much forest to protect in APP new policy

Despite a restoration program organized by a company affiliated to pulp giant in Kampar Peninsula, Riau province, launched and endorsed by the Ministry of Forestry, environmentalists criticized it as a manuoevre by wo-faced company which merely seek benefit from credit carbon scheme. In the first week of May, Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan, in Jakarta inaugurated the million-dollar ecosystem restoration program initiated by PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), a subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL). The restoration program of around 20 thousand hectares of deep peat Kampar Peninsula forest in Riau is planned to overcome forest degradation and deforestation, said APRIL management as reported by media. Continue reading

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Forest logging moratorium violated by APP in Kalimantan, according NGOs

A consortium of “Kalimantan Forest Monitoring NGOs (RPHK)” in West Kalimantan lodged their protest over the Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) announced by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in February. RPHK members found two independent suppliers of APP in West Kalimantan, PT Asia Tani Persada (ATP) and PT Daya Tani Kalbar (DTK), to be still logging natural forest, clearing the land and digging deep peat canals after the 1 February, clearance moratorium date initiated by APP. Continue reading

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Joint effort on Indonesian rainforest pays off

After years of campaigning by Indonesian and international environmental and social non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the largest paper company in Asia, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has announced a new Forest Conservation Policy which – among other commitments – extends an immediate moratorium on logging in natural forests to all its suppliers.

The controversial paper company was blamed for causing the destruction of up to two million hectares of rainforests in Sumatra, threatening the last habitat of the Sumatran tiger, displacing local communities and causing conflicts and fatalities, and releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases by converting peatland forests into plantations. Sergio Baffoni of the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) said, “It is great to see that the joint effort of many NGOs in Indonesia, Europe and elsewhere, has finally opened the way for a solution. It is difficult to say now if this announcement will really bring about a solution; only its implementation in the field will prove that. Meanwhile we advise companies to keep avoiding any business with APP. Continue reading

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Indonesian pulp giant APRIL is bulldozing Indigenous community forests

In 2009, PT Toba Pulp Lestari announced that it was expanding its pulp and paper operations in Porsea, near Lake Toba in Sumatra from 165,000 tonnes per year to 300,000 tonnes per year. Since then, the company has been clearing communities’ forests, despite on-going land conflicts and protests by local communities. Recently, 31 villagers were arrested trying to stop the company from destroying their forests. 16 men are still in prison in Medan. The indigenous people that live in Sipituhuta and Pandumaan villages have farmed resin from benzoin trees in the forests for more than 300 years. By destroying the forests and the benzoin trees, PT Toba Pulp Lestari is also destroying their livelihoods. Continue reading

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WWF urges Indonesian pulp producer APRIL to immediately stop pulping tropical forests

Following the announcement by Asia Pulp & Paper that it has stopped all clearance of Indonesian forests, WWF is now calling on its competitor Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) to stop pulping tropical rainforest. The Sumatran NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest reported that APRIL has become the Province of Riau’s largest agent of deforestation, cutting at least 140,000 ha of tropical forest, mostly located on peat soils, between 2008 and 2011. APRIL was thus responsible for almost 1/3 of all tropical forest loss in Riau during that period. Continue reading

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HarperCollins prohibits sourcing from Indonesian tropical rainforests

HarperCollins’ recent public commitment to no longer source paper connected to endangered rainforests signifies a fundamental, sector-wide shift in the US publishing industry. This move by HarperCollins is on the heels of a major announcement in October by Disney, which released a comprehensive global paper policy covering the company’s vast array of businesses and licensees. Continue reading

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APRIL supplier’s staff detained for corruption

Three local government officials and one staff of PT Sumatera Riang Lestari, timber supplier for Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), were detained by Riau Prosecutors Office for allegedly embezzling the state’s income from forestry tax. Antarariau news online reported Thursday (31/1) that the Prosecutors Office detained the four people here due to that forest corruption corruption costs IDR 1.9 billion loss. “They named suspects, and are detained due to it is feared they will run away,” said spokesperson of Riau Prosecutors Office, Andri Ridwan, as quoted by Antariau as saying. Continue reading

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Books: deforestation under the Christmas Tree

A recent report released by WWF in Germany shows that a good number of children’s books were manufactured with paper coming from deforestation in Indonesia, home to Critically Endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger. In the United States, a similar research done by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) revealed the same paper in the books of Fancy Nancy, published by HarperCollins.

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APRIL exposed

A new report released today by Eyes on the Forest analyzed the impact of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) on Sumatra’s rain-forests. According to the report, at least 140,000 hectares of natural forest were lost in all APRIL supplier concessions between 2008/2009 and 2011 in Riau; equivalent to the loss of 5 percent the natural forest remaining in 2008/2009 and 27 percent of the total forest lost between 2008/9 and 2011.

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15 wild elephants killed in Riau

Fifteen wild Sumatran elephants had been killed in Riau province since January this year following the deaths of three female elephants in Tesso Nilo forest block as officials believed they were poisoned. Carcasses of three elephants were found two weeks ago in a logging road near APRIL’s main timber supplier concession in Tesso Nilo forest block, Riau of Sumatra island.
Head of Tesso Nilo National Park, Kuppin Simbolon, Director of Tesso Nilo NP Foundation, Yuliantoni, and Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said the critically endangered elephants were poisoned. Continue reading

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Exposing Indonesian deforestation in Europe

Three Indonesian forest activists are traveling across Europe to explain the impacts of paper production in Indonesia. The delegation is touring nine European cities in November, meeting customers of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and other Indonesian paper companies, potential investors, paper industry companies, government officials, journalists, environmental campaigners and the general public. Member organisations from across the European Environmental Paper Network are collaborating to organise the tour. Continue reading

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Warning to financiers: don’t fund forest destruction

Financial institutions have been warned today to avoid investments in pulp and paper mills associated with deforestation and human rights abuses in Indonesia. Sixty environmental and social non-governmental organisations, including a dozen Indonesian civil society groups, are sending letters to banks and other financial institutions around the world asking for assurances that they will not invest in increased pulp milling capacity by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) or other companies associated with the Sinar Mas Group until reforms have been achieved. Continue reading

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APP’s Indah Kiat wins USD 250 million bank loans

PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk (INKP), a pulp and paper manufacturer controlled by APP, under Sinar Mas Group, has obtained bank loans worth USD 250 million. The company will use the funds to finance the construction of Paper Machine 6 with a capacity of 530,000 tons per year. Continue reading

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APP: moratorium or business as usual?

On 5 September, APP published Highlights of First Quarterly Progress Report for its Sustainability Roadmap 2020 launched on 5 June 2012. A nice pubblication, but behind colorful announcements, the reality on the ground shows little or no improvement. APP announces the progress in the moratorium: “Two independent pulpwood suppliers in Jambi – Tebo Multi Agro (TMA) and Rimba Hutani Mas (RHM) – have agreed to join APP’s own Wira Karya Sakti (WKS) company in the region, by suspending natural forest clearance with immediate effect while HCV assessments are conducted.” But the Indonesian coalition Eyes on the Forest reveals the hidden truth: The TMA concession appears to already have finished its planned deforestation. One of RHM’s concession blocks is the Taman Rajah reserve which APP has been advertising for years and has already been commited as areas that are not to be clear cut.

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Human Rights body: farmer’s death in APP’s concession questionable

National Human Rights Commission concluded temporarily that a farmer died near concession of PT Suntara Gaja Pati (SGP), a timber supplier associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), in improper manner and needed further investigation. Supratmin, the farmer, was found dead in peat canal of PT SGP  in Senepis forest block of Dumai city on 29 June 2012. Suhendro,  senior investigator the Human Rights Commission said last week that based on accounts by witnesses as a part of fact finding mission conducted by the agency, there was an incident preceded the death. Continue reading

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Witnesses unveil irregularities in logging license related to APRIL and APP

Recent trials of forestry corruption with defendant Burhanuddin Husin, former Riau Forestry Service Head at Pekanbaru’s Corruption Crime Court presented witnesses telling irregularities found in ground checking. Riau Corruption Trial blog reported series of forestry corruption trial monitoring involving defendant Burhanuddin Husin who served the forestry service head in 2006. Continue reading

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APP’s latest promise no more than protecting already protected forest

The “sustainability roadmap” issued recently by controversial Indonesia deforester Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) dramatically backtracks on a series of promises it has made – and broken – previously, an analysis by the Riau NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest has found. “We were abundantly justified in not trusting their 2004 Sustainability Action Plan promise to cease native forest pulping by 2007 and responsible paper buyers or consumers should be dismayed that nearly a decade later, APP’s latest Sustainability Roadmap doesn’t even promise to go that far by 2015,” said Muslim Rasyid, coordinator of Eyes on the Forest member Jikalahari (Forest Rescue Network, Riau).

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APRIL concessions protested by communities

Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) timber suppliers are protested by communities in several pulpwood concessions in Riau Province, Sumatra, early this month, over long-standing conflicts between villagers and companies. As reported by Eyes on the Forest, a letter by community submitted to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday to urge the leader to stop operation of APRIL’s PT RAPP in Pulau Padang and to revise Ministerial Decree number 327 year 2009 in order to exclude Pulau Padang from expansion of pulpwood plantation. 

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Farmer dies at APP plantation site

A farmer was found dead in canal of timber supplier of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) last week, in the Senepis forest block. His name was Supratmin.

Buluhala residents says that Supratmin, the victim was previously attacked by security of PT Suntara Gaja Pati (SGP), an APP’s affiliated company). 

The police probed the incident as farmers association in Buluhala urged the official to investigate the death of Supratmin who had got bruises and wounds, Riaulive website reported on Thursday.

 
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613 hotspots found in pulpwood concessions within three weeks

As rain rarely pours Riau Province many fires hotspots found recently including in timber concessions and protected areas. At least 613 hotspots detected within three weeks in this month as the total of hotspots in the province are 1573. There are 613 fire hotspots were totally found in several concessions of acacia plantation or industrial timber plantation during period of June 1-20 where the most hotspots detected were on concession of Asia Pulp & Paper’s timber supplier PT Satria Perkasa Agung (ex- HPHTI PT. Intipalma/ affiliated to APP) with 225 spots.

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Indonesian NGO denounces District Head for preference on village forest

Non governmental organizations and civil society group network to rescue natural forest in Riau, Jikalahari, denounced Pelalawan District Head for ignoring community’s proposal to manage communal forest in Kampar Peninsula and critized his favoritism to pulp giant’s “greenwashing” project. Jikalahari issued a press release last week saying forestry corporate crime remained occur nowadays as the government and pulp company collaborate to foil divine aspiration proposed by residents of Semenanjung Kampar.

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More elephant killings in Tesso Nilo

Another wild Sumatran elephant was found dead in Tesso Nilo National Park, in Riau Province, increasing the dead toll to six elephants in recent three months. The latest elephant was found dead in Sungai Tapa near the Park’s Flying Squad trained elephants camp on 31 May, reports said. Kupin Simbolon, head of Tesso Nilo National Park Office, regretted the killings of elephants which he considered theses incidents were systematic, Riaukita.com reported. Continue reading

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APP workers going on strike

13.000 workers of APP paper mill PT. Pinto Deli, are going on strike starting on June 4. to protest against unjust and unfair employment system and discrimination in companies under Sinar Mas Group. Among the complains by Paper Workers Union of PT. Pindo Deli. While APP is trying to present environmental organization as anti-poor and anti-development groups – picturing itself as a pro-poor and pro-development actor, the labour conflict at Pinto Deli APP paper mill shows a different reality. Continue reading

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Greenpeace and KFC’s Secret Recipe: Rainforest Destruction

Greenpeace International today released evidence that KFC has been using product packaging sourced from rainforests, supplied by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Forensic testing in three markets – UK, China and Indonesia – repeatedly confirmed the presence of rainforest fibre in numerous packaging products, including the famous chicken bucket.

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WWF: latest APP promise more greenwash than protection

An Asia Pulp and Paper promise for a moratorium on natural forest logging in directly owned concessions needs to cover what goes into its mills rather than what comes off already mostly cleared areas, according to WWF. “APP once again has chosen to invest in greenwashing instead of meaningful change in the face of increasing and widespread condemnation of its forestry practices,” said Nazir Foead of WWF-Indonesia. “Our analysis suggests that this limited moratorium will have little impact, since APP has already cleared 713,383 hectares or almost all of the natural forest in its own and affiliated concessions in Riau.”

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Asia Pulp & Paper recruits the Prince of Darkness

The powerful British politician Lord Mandelson has been hired as a consultant by the controversial pulp & paper group Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), as reported by The Guardian. APP, one of the world largest paper groups, it is accused by environmental groups to have pulped up to two million hectares of Indonesian rainforest, endangering threatened wildlife and even the global climate. Continue reading

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NGOs: paper products tainted by corruption

A coalition of Indonesia’s NGOs called Anti-Forest Mafia Coalition urged global pulp buyers last week to beware of allegedly corruption-tainted pulp products following an analysis of timber companies’ involvement in graft cases that jailed government officials in Riau province. The coalition in a press conference in Jakarta also urged the government to curb logging licenses to companies who allegedly involved in forest corruption cases and bring the timber companies to justice.

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Indonesia’s Environment Ministry to sue 14 timber companies

The Ministry of Environment vowed to bring 14 timber companies in Riau province which allegedly involved in environmental destruction to the court of justice following two meetings among related government agencies, a weekly magazine disclosed. TEMPO magazine edition of 22 April revealed a story of meeting in February and January 2012 involving the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forestry, and Attorney General Office. The meeting hosted by the Ministry of Forestry to follow up two recommendations letters sent by defunct presidential Task Force for Justice Mafia Eradication in August and December 2011.

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APRIL supplier PT SRL still fells Ramin in Rupat Island

Recent observation by Eyes on the Forest coalition had confirmed that PT Sumatera Riang Lestari in block Rupat still clearcut protected species, Ramin tree (Gonystylus sp), similar to the thorough investigation in 2010. In a trip to Rupat Island, of Bengkalis district last week, EoF along with media organizations found that ramin trees felled by this Asian Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) timber supplier.

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European, Japanese taxpayers unwittingly underwrite continued forest and tiger habitat destruction

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has been accused of a “double default” on international creditors, after an investigation revealed that the company has decimated tropical forests it promised to conserve under “legally binding” debt restructuring agreements. APP Default on Environmental Covenant, a new report from Sumatra NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest, shows that the company in 2004 agreed to protect high conservation value forest under debt restructuring agreements it made with taxpayer-backed financial institutions in nine countries. The debt restructuring agreements were negotiated after APP in 2001 defaulted on a massive $US13.9 billion of debt and was delisted by the New York and Singapore stock exchanges.

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NGOs blast APRIL for violence

Civil society groups in Riau Province condemned violence shown by PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), a subsidiary and timber supplier of Asian Pacific Resource International Limited (APRIL) who violently dispersed Gunung Sahilan community’s land dispute protest on 6 March by hitting motorbikes and assaulted the locals. Continue reading

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APP certifiers distance themselves from sustainability claims

 

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) claims of independent sustainability certification for its operations aren’t supported by the certification schemes and assessors it has nominated, a WWF survey has found. None of these certifications cover the most controversial operations of the APP’s wood suppliers – mass clearing of native forests which are home to critically endangered tigers, elephants and orang-utans and clearing and drainage of peat areas which result in massive greenhouse gas emissions. The certification schemes cited by APP cover some, but far from all, supplier timber plantations – but none considered whether plantation establishment involved the clearing of high conservation value forest or whether traditional forest owners had given their “free, prior and informed consent” to forest clearance or plantation establishment.

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Greenpeace exposes illegal timber at APP mill

“Zero tolerance for illegal wood” says APP policy. But a yearlong investigation by Greenpeace uncovered that APP is systematically violating Indonesia’s laws which protect ramin, an internationally protected tree species under the CITES treaty. Ramin trees come from Indonesia’s peat swamp forests which are also home to the endangered Sumatran tiger.

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APP developing a new giant paper mill in Sumatra

Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) announced the development of a large pulp mill to be located in south Sumatra. Details are not finalized, but the mill is expected to have a nominal capacity of between 1.5 and 2.0 million tonnes per year of BHK, making it the largest single pulp line in the world. APP has been doing extensive forest conversion in Sumatra. Continue reading

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APP clearcuts forest where a Sumatran tiger dies by snare

 Asia Pulp and Paper is still clearcutting tropical rainforest as realities found by Eyes on the Forest investigation in the company’s subsidiary, PT Arara Abadi of district Nilo, in Tesso Nilo forest block, Sumatra’s Riau Province. Eyes on the Forest published yesterday an investigative report conducted in October 2011 inside concession of PT Arara Abadi of Nilo district, an APP subsidiary and main supplier in the province.

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WWF finds U.S. grocery retailers stocking toilet paper linked to rain forest destruction

A report released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Washington yesterday called on American companies and consumers to be responsible in using tissue and paper towels by not buying products from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) which linked to rain forest destruction, originating from areas that are the last home for critically endangered species such as Sumatran tigers, elephants, and orangutans. Continue reading

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Sinar Mas Group seeks ‘backdoor’ public listing in Singapore

Sinar Mas Group, an Indonesia-based conglomerate, is working on a deal to list its Indonesian coal assets on the Singapore Exchange by swapping shares with a small forestry firm that is already listed on the stock market,reports Reuters. The reverse takeover would enable Sinar Mas Group to more easily raise capital for expansion.

The Singapore-listed company United Fiber System Ltd said on Friday it has signed a $1.2 billion agreement with PT Dian Swastatika Sentosa Tbk, an Indonesian coal mining company. Continue reading

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Former official detained for foresty corruption case in Indonesia

 

 

Former Riau Forestry Service Head and Ex Kampar District Head, Burhanuddin Husein, was detained by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta yesterday, for accusation of misusuing his authority in issuing logging licenses for pulpwood conversion in Pelalawan District during 2005-2006. Burhanuddin Husein was detained after being named suspect in 2008. Johan Budi, spokesperson of KPK, told media that Burhanuddin’s case is related to Azmun Jaafar, former Pelalawan District Head, whom sentenced to 11 year imprisonment in 2009 by KPK court, Tribun Pekanbaru daily reported Wednesday. Continue reading

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Indonesia’s tigers closer to extinction

At least 40 endangered Sumatran tigers were killed during 2011, according to the Indonesian Forestry Ministry. Darori, director general of forest protection and nature conservation at the Forestry Ministry, unveiled the figure during a workshop for the implementation of the National Plan for the Revival of the Sumatran Tiger. Continue reading

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Controversial logging permit should be revised, Indonesian civil groups say

 

Police planned to disperse residents of Padang island whom staged rallies and had been staying near House of Representatives’ compound in Jakarta for one month as eight hospitalized and one treated in a mental hospital. Last week, civil society organizations in Riau province launched a joint statement calling on the Indonesian Government to review the ministerial decree of SK 327 year 2009 which is a basis of PT RAPP Blok Pulau Padang license for 41,205 hectares of peat forest. The total size of the island itself is entirely 110,000 hectares. Continue reading

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Levi Strauss & Co. adds voice to major companies excluding Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) Over ties to rainforest destruction

Levi Strauss & Company’s recent public release of its revamped forest products purchasing policy ensures it is not sourcing from the world’s endangered forests. The company’s implementation of the policy makes it the latest major brand that will not be doing business with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) due to APP’s ongoing involvement in rainforest destruction and human rights abuses in Indonesia. Levi’s policy and implementation come on the heels of a major cancellation with APP subsidiary Mercury Paper by Kroger Corporation, the United States’ largest grocery store owner in late December. Continue reading

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Ex-district head sentenced for forestry corruption case

Former Siak District Head Arwin AS was sentenced to four-year imprisonment by Corruption Court in Pekanbaru on Thursday as he was found guilty to make money collaborately by issuing logging licenses to pulp timber suppliers during his service as District Head in 2001-2002. The Judges led by Muefri told the Court that Arwin should also pay compenssation fee amount to IDR 800 million and USD 2000 and causing the loss to the State amount to IDR 301 billions. Continue reading

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New analysis supports claim that paper giant cleared part of its tiger sanctuary in Indonesia

An Indonesian NGOs coalition, Eyes of the Forest, released a report showing the photo of forest clearing occurred inside the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary announced by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), but the paper giant says the clearing is in an area that was allocated for conversion – and signed off by the Indonesian government – in 2008. What really happened? Continue reading

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Kroger drops Asia Pulp & Paper products

Kroger food stores, as well as all stores owned by the company nationwide, will no longer sell paper products from Asia Pulp & Paper. The company released a statement in late December, stating that after an “independent review” the company and its family of stores will no longer stock the toilet paper and paper towel products, many of which are sold under the name Paseo. A portion of the products are processed at one of APP’s subsidiary companies, Mercury Paper Co., in Strasburg. “Obviously, we were disappointed to hear of Kroger’s announcement, particularly for the consumers who shopped at Kroger subsidiaries and recognized the value in PASEO,” read a Mercury Paper statement released after Kroger’s decision. Continue reading

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The truth behind APPs greenwash: logging in its own Tiger Sanctuary

An Eyes on the Forest investigation exposed the reality behind the misleading advertisement of paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). The Truth Behind APP s Greenwash: a wood supplier (and sister company) of APP has been clearcutting tropical forest inside the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary in Sumatra, a sanctuary that APP advertises globally as part of its purported commitment to tiger conservation. According to Eyes on the Forest, APP, part of the Sinar Mas Group, has pulped more than two million hectares of Indonesia s tropical forests since it started paper production there in 1984.

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Five wild cat species documented in Sumatran forest imperiled by logging

A single forest corridor in Sumatra has yielded camera trap photos of five wild cats species, including the Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Photos were also taken of the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), the marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), and the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). The five species were all filmed by a WWF camera trap survey in a single forest corridor linking the forest of Bukit Tigapuluh and the Rimbang Baling Wildlife Sanctuary in Riau Province. Unfortunately this forest remains unprotected.

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Indonesia: new report questions legitimacy of Asia Pulp & Paper’s greenwashing

A new report by an Indonesian environmental group casts doubt on Asia Pulp & Paper’s commitment to sustainability. In its corporate social responsibility reports and advertisements, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper suppliers, has touted several forest reserves as indicators of its commitment to environmental stewardship. APP has portrayed these as voluntary, goodwill efforts to conserve Sumatra’s endangered wildlife. But in a new report, Greenomics-Indonesia, a Jakarta-based NGO, says that at best these projects represent compliance with existing Indonesian laws or are in areas where commercial exploitation isn’t viable.

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Ecolabel backing APP greenwash

Paper made by a subsidiary of Indonesian firm Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has been cleared of breaching EU ecolabel criteria. An official report by the European Commission has ruled that key products manufactured by Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) in Indonesia meet all of the criteria for the Ecolabel – a standard designed to reassure consumers that they are buying goods which are ‘kindest’ to the environment. But forestry NGO Fern, which brought the original complaint, says its concerns have not been addressed. Last year, Fern accused APP subsidiary Pindo Deli of using suppliers that damaged the environment and potentially acted illegally.

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The Dutch Advertising Authority: APP adverts are misleading

Deforestation does not protect the environment. The paper giant Asia Pulp & paper Paper (APP) got its adverts forbidden in the Netherlands. The Dutch Advertising Code Commission (DACC) judged that APP’s TV and paper adverts, which positions APP as a company that cares about the environment, while massively destroying Indonesian rainforests,  are misleading the public. APP was running a significant amount of these adverts both on TV and in print, and the ruling means that they will no longer be able to continue them in the Netherlands. Similar adverts were broadcasted in other European countries.Â

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Rainforests: Greenpeace under pressure in Indonesia

The city administration of Jakarta is moving against Greenpeace Indonesia as it plans to evict staff from their national headquarters in Kemang, South Jakarta. After Greenpeace campaign against paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR), a notorious gang, organized a rally in front of the Greenepace office, and this was token as excuse by the municipality to evict Greenpeace.

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Deforestation is a bad game

Bad news for Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). The company, responsible of large-scale deforestation in Indonesia, is witnessing a wave of contract cancellations. After Mattel and Lego, also Hasbro, makers of Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Monopoly, and many other games and toys announced a new paper-buying policy. Hasbro’s new policy says it will avoid controversial sources of paper fibre, and has explicitly requested that suppliers avoid dealing with APP. Hasbro has also committed to boost its use of FSC-certified and recycled paper in toy packaging.

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UK Greenpeace director refused entry to Indonesia following smear campaign

Arriving at Jakarta’s international airport, the executive director of Greenpeace UK John Sauven was blocked from entering Indonesia by immigration officials and is being deported, despite obtaining a business visa without any problems. He travelled to Indonesia to visit Sumatra, and to take part in discussions with various officials and Indonesian companies.

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Barbie into deforestation scandal. Ken: it’s over!

A rainforest scandal has just broken up one of the world’s most iconic couples, as it has been revealed that Barbie, the world’s most famous doll, has been wrapping herself in destroyed rainforest. This revelation has led Barbie’s longtime beau Ken to announce publicly that he doesn’t date girls who are into deforestation.”

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Barbie has broken up with Asia Pulp and Paper

It’s official: Barbie has broken up with Asia Pulp and Paper.
Responding to a campaign by Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel, maker of the famed Barbie doll line, announced Wednesday that it will stop buying paper and packaging that the environmental group has linked to rain forest destruction in Indonesia. The El Segundo company said it will tell suppliers to avoid wood fiber from companies “that are known to be involved in deforestation.” Among those companies, Greenpeace said in a statement, is Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) group. 

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Forest communities celebrate at plantation law court victory

The Constitutional Court approved on Monday a request to drop two articles in the 2004 Law on Plantations deemed potentially discriminatory against indigenous farmers in land disputes. The request was originally filed by four farmers from West Kalimantan, East Java and North Sumatra. Each farmer had received jail terms of between six months and a year under Article 21 of the 2004 law for protest actions they took to reclaim ancestral lands. The article prohibits any efforts to damage plantations or other assets, any use of plantation land without permission and any other action that disturbs plantation businesses. 

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Certifications, human rights and bad jokes

This time it’s about human rights. With a long story of environmental and human rights abuses, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has proven to be one of the most problematic transational companies. APP pulped around one million hectares of rainforest in Sumatra, seizing land for the plantations from local communities and indigenous people, and when they protested, the company systematically intimidated them, using police, private security, militias and thugs.

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Saving the wrong rhino in Indonesia?

The slideshow titled “APP: Establishing the Facts” would indeed be laughable if they were not so sad. In the slides on “Investing in Biodiversity,” Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) appears to want to show how innovative it is in the conservation arena by focusing on the Javan rhino. The slides depict photos of wildlife and the Javan Rhino Sanctuary.

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Sumatra: an ecological Armageddon

ABC News’ Foreign Correspondent programme investigated into the operations in Sumatra, Indonesia by the paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd., better known by the more disarming acronym APRIL. The programme, titled,Sumatra – Paper/Tiger, gives a shocking view of the ongoing destruction of Sumatra’s remaining forests. APRIL has embarked on a massive land clearing project, removing natural stands of timber and replanting fast-growing acacia trees and when it’s done it says the plantation timber alone will feed the plant.

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APP rehomes a tiger after cutting down its forest home

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced the success of its environmental operation to save tigers: the company has moved a tiger from one part of South Sumatra province to another in order to protect it. This is supposed to prove APP’s environmental engagement. But the reality is quite different. APP broadcasted adverts to paint itself as nature’s friend. For the same reason, APP has sponsored the capture, relocation and release of a Sumatran tiger – remember, only about 400 individuals remain at large.

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Illegal logging activities blamed for flood in Indonesia

Uncontrolled illegal logging has been blamed for a flash flood in Tangse district, Pidie regency, Aceh, on Thursday evening. The flood waters killed at least 12 people and displaced hundreds of families. “It’s undeniable that the disaster was caused by illegal logging and land clearing activities in the region,” Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Aceh branch executive director Teuku Muhammad Zulfikar. 

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Fuji Xerox cuts ties with Indonesian logging company

Australian environmentalists have praised Fuji Xerox for cutting ties with a big paper manufacturer accused of wrongfully logging Indonesian rainforests. Fuji Xerox Australia announced on Thursday it will no longer be doing business with Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL), which owns one of the world’s largest paper mills. Fuji Xerox managing director Nick Kugenthiran said fresh allegations of APRIL unsustainably clearing forest land in Sumatra was the final straw after months of doubts.

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Advertising green deforestation

Advertising, advertising! Advertising can do anything, it can even make green one of the worst forest predators. It’s the paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), responsible for the conversion of over one million hectares of Indonesian rain forest in acacia plantations. In its advertising announce that it is planting a million trees a day (in fact, the plantation trees, founded on the ruins of a rainforest, previously cleared by APP suppliers to feed the company’s pulp mills) and “to create a greener Indonesia for our future” (as announced by the video below).

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The tiger and the toilet roll

Greenpeace, WWF and the Greens from New Zealand accused Cottonsoft to fuel rainforest destruction in Indoensia. Cottonsoft refused to supply information on its suppliers, saying Greenpeace could not provide assurance that any information supplied would be treated as commercially sensitive. But forensic evidence show that its toilet rolls contain Indonesian rainforest fibre. The rainforests that are being felled for the paper are threatening the survival of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, of which just 400 are believed to live in the wild.Â

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Indigenous Peoples’ organisation demands immediate moratorium on REDD+ in Central Kalimantan

Members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago – Central Kalimantan Chapter (AMAN Kalteng) have issued a statement demaning an “immediate moratorium of all REDD+ processes and investments in Central Kalimantan”, until a series of conditions are met. 
Central Kalimantan is the pilot province under the Indonesia-Norway US$1 billion REDD deal. As a REDD pilot province, Central Kalimantan faces two serious problems. The declaration is published by Redd Monitor.

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WWF: 1000 new species found in New Guinea

218 new plants, 43 new reptiles, 12 mammals, 580 invertebrates, 134 amphibians, 2 birds and 71 fish. That’s 1060 new species the World Wide Fund for Nature calculated found on the island of New Guinea between 1998 and 2008; roughly two new species each week. In their latest report, Final Frontier: Newly Discovered species of New Guinea (1998 – 2008), WWF say New Guinea, the world’s largest tropical island, which has 0.5 percent of the world’s land mass but 6-8 percent of the world’s species, is under threat.

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Borneo: just one day to break the moratorium in Kalimentan

One day was enough to breach the wheak Indonesian  moratorium on forest conversion. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Its Partner Telapak documented peat forest conversion in Central Kalimantan by palm oil firm PT Sawit Perdana Menteng Jaya (Menteng PT).  The on billion dollar agrement on a moratorium on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +). Ironically, Norway owns 41 millions dollars in share in the PT Menteng ‘s parent company, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK).

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Paper Giant APP loses further customers in Europe

The German discounter KiK will stop purchasing writing paper from the Indonesian paper concern Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) immediately. The Tengelmann-owned company assured this renunciation following talks with the Consumer Protection Agency of the German state of North Rhine Westphalia and the environmental organization Robin WoodRobin Wood. APP is among the largest destroyers of the Indonesian rainforest. 

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Indonesia: APRIL clear-cutting key tiger habitat

A pulp supplier for a major paper company is clearing natural forest in a wildlife corridor in central Sumatra, alleges a new investigation conducted by Eyes on the Forest, , a coalition of environmental groups. The  report says that PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), a major timber supplier of Asian Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), last year cleared protected forest in the Indonesian province of Riau.

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Indonesia: camera captures tiger cubs in forest under imminent threat of clearing

WWF camera traps recorded an astounding 12 tigers in just two months in the central Sumatran landscape of Bukit Tigapuluh, including two mothers with cubs. A video camera trap in the same area has also captured footage of three young tiger siblings playfully chasing a leaf.

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New attack on Greenpeace in Indonesia

>Last week Rudy Gani, the leader of the Aliansi Mahasiswa Tolak LSM Asing (the Alliance of Students to Reject Foreign NGOs), a student group, filed a complaint against Greenpeace with local police alleging that the green group had misappropriated up to 20 billion Indonesian rupiah ($2.2 million) from supporters. Rudy Gani presented no actual evidence of embezzlement. His charge was predicated on a comparison of Greenpeace’s reported income with Gani’s extrapolation of Greenpeace’s income based on the assumption that all 30,000 Greenpeace members in Indonesia pay the standard monthly dues of 75,000 rupiah ($8). Both Indonesia Corruption Watch and Greenpeace quickly shot down the claims. Continue reading

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Earth Day: European environmentalists support Italian environmental group targeted by paper industry

More than 50 environmental organizations – European, international and Indonesian – sign statement in support of the NGO Terra!, targeted by the Italian paper company Cartiere Pigna. Last January, the environmental organization Terra! was convicted by an Italian court for exposing links between the Italian paper manufacturer Cartiere Pigna and the deforestation of Indonesian rainforests carried out by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). The destruction of Indonesian rainforests has become one of the major causes of greenhouse gas emissions globally and is threatening the continued existence of Sumatran tigers, rhinos and elephants, among many other species.  APP has also been implicated in numerous human rights abuses and corruption. Today, on Earth Day, more than 50 NGOs declare their solidarity with Terra! in a joint statement.  Continue reading

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European environmentalists reject proposed weak Ecolabel standard

As noted on DG environment’s website, “only the very best products, which are kindest to the environment, are entitled to carry the EU Ecolabel”. Unfortunately, given the weak framework and standard being proposed, the EU Ecolabel for newsprint and printed paper would not provide assurances that the fibres do not come from the deforestation of endangered habitats. These criteria are being discussed in an Ad-hoc-Working Group meeting in Copenhagen today.


The European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) is opposed to using the extraordinarily weak criteria already established for graphic and copy paper as a basis for printed and newsprint paper. The EU Ecolabel Board (EUEB) decided to delete any minimum requirement for recycled fibre content from the criteria for copy and graphic paper. The EEPN demands 80% recycled fibre content to be defined as a minimum requirement. This figure was originally proposed by DG Environment for newsprint paper, and according to EEPN, an Ecolabel for paper products without a very high mandatory content of recycled fibre is useless and misleading to consumers and the public. The EUEB decided also to allow the AOX emissions threshold up to 0.2 kg/ADT, an unacceptable amount from an environmental point of view.

The EEPN, representing 53 member organisations across Europe, will recognise the ‘EU Flower’ Ecolabel for paper products only if it is in line with its Common Vision for Transforming the Paper Industry.

“The proposal currently under discussion in the EUEB is deeply worrying,’  said Daniel Hausknost, EEPN coordinator. “The EU Ecolabel could be a strong tool to help the paper industry move in the direction of sustainable production and a great device to give consumers a real environmental choice. However, the Ecolabel is instead reducing itself to a marketing tool for industries with little or no environmental concerns’, he warns. “The Ecolabel was recently awarded to two copy paper brands linked to the destruction of carbon rich Indonesian rainforests and manufactured by notorious Asia Pulp and Paper. This is sad proof of where the EU Ecolabel is currently going”.

If the EUEB continues its current path, it will be very problematic for environmental organizations in Europe to take seriously the EU Ecolabel for paper products, and therefore potentially bring into question the Ecolabel for all products. Many companies are showing leadership, demonstrating that it is possible to produce environmentally sound paper being competitive in the market, and consumer demand is more and more increasing the market of paper products with high environmental performance.  The EU Ecolabel appears to be upsetting this momentum, following a path which will increasingly turn it into a mere ‘greenwash’ device.

“Last October, we sent a letter as EEPN with specific concerns about the EU Ecolabel for copying and graphic paper. We later learned that none of our points were taken seriously into account” continued Hausknost. “We have followed the negotiation process over the last few months, but are concerned about its outcome so far.”

Unfortunately, the EU flower is in danger of fading right before its important anniversary in 2012. It is now time for the EUEB to make a choice between establishing a credible Ecolabel which consumers can trust or create a label that will be more and more exposed as greenwash.

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The beautiful deforestation

Alan Oaxley has a mission in his life: deforestation. He probably never used a chainsaw, but he uses the pen, or -better- the computer. His two public relations companies, World Growth International (disguised as humanitarian NGO) and ITS Global, are in the front line advocating deforestation. Behind them, the customers: companies which make profits from deforestation, companies with very bad environmental records such as the Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau and the Indonesian paper group Asia Pulp & Paper. But what happens if some of its customers decide to adopt a greener policy? They fall under his ax.

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Indonesia: Greenpeace reveals the maps of the moratorium

Bad news from Indonesia: Greenpeace got a copy of the draftmoratorium, crunched the numbers and the news is not good. The data shows this proposed moratorium does little to protect areas that are not already off limits under Indonesia’s existing laws. Unfortunately, if the plan moves forward as it is, the forests, peatlands and all the wildlife living within them will continue to suffer deforestation from the pulp, paper and palm oil industries.

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La carta vincente

Acquisti responsabili di carta.

 

Carta Vincente è una risorsa semplice e completa per agevolare l’avvio di una politica responsabile di acquisti di carta per aziende o istituzioni di qualsiasi dimensione. Con questa guida, è possibile acquisire credenziali ambientali basate su criteri ampiamente condivisi dalla comunità ambientalista e su esperienze virtuose di successo.

Da caso a caso, si possono presentare situazioni e problemi diversi. Può essere molto utile contattare associazioni già specializzate in questo tema, per affrontare problematiche più specifiche.

Carta Vincente è la versione italiana di www.whatsinyourpaper.com, un progetto creato dall’Environmental Paper Network, e che ha svolto una funzione dedcisiva nell’aiutare numerose imprese ad adottare una politica responsabile degli acquisti di carta.

La guida agli acquisti responsabili: Fornisce un quadro d’insieme sui passi peravviare con successo una politica di acquisto responsabile di prodotti a basedi carta e un loro impiego ottimizzato con efficienza.

Quattro passi per la carta: Uno schema dei passi da compiere perraggiungere una politica di acquisto responsabile di prodotti a base di carta.

Modello di policy per gli acquisti di carta: Contiene suggerimenti per la definizione diuna policy aziendale volta all’uso efficiente della carta e a acquisti di carta pienamente rispettosi dell’ambiente.

Modello di lettera ai fornitori: Fornisce un modello di lettera volto ainformare i fornitori sulle nuove politiche aziendali e sulle richieste in temadi forniture.

Modello dispecifiche ambientali: Include modelli volti ad agevolare gliacquisti di carta con caratteristiche ambientali migliori o superiori.

La carta tra miti e realtà: Sfata le leggente e i luoghi comuni su cartae ambiente.

Proteggi il pianeta risparmiando: Alcuni consigli pratici per ridurre ilconsumo di carta

Link e risorse: Siti e portali utili agli acquirenti dicarta.

 

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