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Press Release

14 Dec 2011
Report Reveals Facts Behind APP’s Conservation Claims

Eyes on the Forest Investigation Finds Asia Pulp & Paper Pulping the Tiger Sanctuary It Helped Create

Report Reveals Facts Behind APP’s Conservation Claims

Press Release –– 14 December 2011

PEKANBARU, SUMATRA -- An Eyes on the Forest investigation finds that a wood supplier of Asia Pulp & Paper (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.

“This is clear proof that the global advertising claims of APP that it actively protects Sumatran tiger are untrue and highly exaggerated”, said Anwar Purwoto of WWF-Indonesia.  

In a new report released today entitled “The Truth Behind APP’s Greenwash”, Eyes on the Forest details that APP, part of the Sinar Mas Group, has pulped more than 2 million hectares of Indonesia’s tropical forests since it started paper production there in 1984. Field investigations in June and October 2011 and historical satellite image analysis up to June 2011 found that APP has started sourcing wood from inside its self-declared Senepis Tiger Sanctuary, Eyes on the Forest says in a new report released today.

“It’s appalling that APP is pulping even the small blocks of forest it had told the world it would protect as tiger habitat,” Hariansyah Usman of WALHI Riau said.

The report reveals the truth behind this – and other – much-touted APP “conservation projects”. After apparently trying to halt a government-proposed Senepis National Park that would have protected the tiger habitat targeted by APP,the company began advertising its role in creating the 106,000-hectare “Senepis Tiger Sanctuary” in 2006, according to Eyes on the Forest.

Yet, in fact APP made no additional conservation contribution for tigers. Eyes on the Forest found that most of the APP’s sanctuary is actually outside areas the company controls – 86% of the sanctuary covers already-protected forests of an unrelated Forest Stewardship Council-certified logging concession of PT. Diamond Raya Timber. Even the sanctuary’s small forest blocks that APP pledged to protect is being cleared.

“We would like the Sinar Mas Group’s buyers, investors and licensing government officials 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,” says Hariansyah Usman. “APP is interested only in feeding its giant mills with as much tropical forest wood as possible, and hoping that customers and investors will continue to believe its ridiculous conservation commitments and advertisements.”

Already, many global buyers, including some of the biggest paper users in the world, have cancelled their contracts and Government media watch dog agencies in the Netherlands have taken action that blocks the Sinar Mas Group’s paper company from airing misleading ads.

“We urge global buyers and investors to no longer support Asia Pulp & Paper’s continuing shameless destruction of Indonesia’s tropical forests and the homes of Sumatra’s last surviving tigers,” says Muslim Rasyid of Jikalahari, NGOs network. “Join the growing list of other responsible companies that have cut all ties with SMG/APP.”

Notes :

l  Eyes on the Forest’s new report 

The truth behind APPs greenwash

 The new report also investigates many other of APP’s misleading claims and summarizes SMG/APP’s profit driven, environmentally damaging actions, including destruction of unique forest types, tiger, elephant and orangutan habitat, clearance of forests inside the APP-driven UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and illegal drainage of deep peat soils releasing millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, ranking APP ahead of 156 countries in greenhouse gas emissions.

l  Companies that have cut off business ties with APP include: Office Depot, Staples, Kraft, United Stationers, Target and Mattel (USA); Idisa Papel (Spain); Metro Group, KiK and Adidas (Germany); Woolworths and Metcash (Australia); Tesco, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer (UK); Nestlé (Switzerland); Unilever (Netherlands); Ricoh and Fuji Xerox (Japan); Zhejiang Hotels Association (China); Gucci Group (Italy); Lego (Denmark); Leclerc (France). Many others have cancelled their contracts quietly or have committed to avoid buying from the company.



***


EoF is a coalition of three local environmental organizations in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia : WWF Indonesia's Tesso Nilo Programme, Jikalahari ("Forest Rescue Network Riau") and Walhi Riau (Friends of the Earth Indonesia). It was launched in December 2004 to investigate the state of Riau''s forests and the players who influence it.
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