According to the Indonesian coalition Eyes on the Forest (EoF), paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is not complying with the moratorium on natural forest logging announced by the company last February. In a report released yesterday, EoF exposed natural forest clearing in concession of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) supplier, PT Riau Indo Agropalma (RIA), in Kerumutan forest block, an important Sumatran tiger habitat in Riau province.
"This incident occurred while APP and its consultant, The Forest Trust, were busy traveling the globe marketing the company's new policy," said Hariansyah Usman of Indonesian organisation WALHI Riau. "[It is] important what happens in the field, not what appears in marketing papers." Muslim Rasyid of local forest rescue group Jikalahari added: "NGO findings clearly prove that APP is not implementing commitments it made. The violations show that APP is not genuinely committed to conservation and we fear the forest conservation campaign is just another greenwashing to the global market."
According to APP however, the clearing was carried out in the area managed by a local community in partnership with PT Riau Indo Agropalma, which is therefore not included in the moratorium. The company promised a deep investigation on the case. According to NGOs however, the case shows that the moratorium still contain loopholes that allow natural forest clearing.