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Asia Pulp & Paper Is Illegally Cutting Down Trees Of Senepis Tiger Sanctuary

The Senepis Tiger Sanctuary, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a prominent feature of the massive international greenwash campaign of paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), is being subject to clear cutting operations by one of the company’s wood suppliers, says Sumatra-based environmental coalition, Eyes on the Forest.
The coalition, which includes the Jikalahari “Riau Forest Rescue Network,” WALHI Riau, and WWF-Indonesia Riau Program, carried out field investigations in June and October 2011 and historical satellite image analysis up to June 2011.
In a new report released today, The truth behind APP’s Greenwash, the coalition found that an APP supplier, PT Ruas Utama Jaya, has been carrying out clear cutting operations inside the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary, pulping an estimate of more than two million hectares of Indonesia’s tropical forests since 1984.
Areas where APP carries out its clear cutting operations include habitats of unique forest types, elephants, tigers, and orang-utans, the report says. In addition, APP carries out deep peat draining operations, which cause organic carbon that has been built up over thousands of years to be exposed to the air, decompose and turn into carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Both activities run contrary to Indonesian laws and regulations.

APP, which is part of the Sinar Mas Group, sells office paper, paper-based packaging, and toilet paper under the brands Paseo and LIVI.
The report alleges that after trying to halt a government-proposed Senepis National Park that would have protected tiger habitat targeted by APP for pulping, the company switched to advertising a leading role in creating the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary in 2006 as part of its public image of environmental responsibility.
However, some 86 percent of the sanctuary is already protected under a Forest Stewardship Council-certified logging concession held by unrelated company PT Diamond Raya Timber. Now, the report states that at least one APP supplier is engaged in clear cutting and drainage of the areas that were APP’s contribution to the sanctuary.
Despite its promises to move to 100 percent plantation sourcing of timber for major pulp mills, APP missed self-imposed deadlines to stop using native forest timber in 2004, 2007, and 2009. APP is now announcing that it will meet its commitment on timber sourcing by 2015.
“We would like the Sinar Mas Group’s buyers and investors who read this report to realize how APP’s media campaigns are exploiting their lack of knowledge or inexperience about Indonesia and how they mislead their customers about the brutal reality on the ground,” said Hariansyah Usman of WALHI Riau.
Many of the biggest paper users in the world have ceased purchasing from APP. Companies that have cut off business ties with APP include Kraft, Adidas, Tesco, Nestle, Fuji Xerox, and Zhejiang Hotels Association.
Eye on the Forest hopes that buyers and investors will withdraw their support for Sinar Mas Group and APP.


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