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Press Release

05 Feb 2014
1st year anniversary of APPís FCP: Celebration without conservation triumph

Press Release                                  For immediate release, 5 February 2014

PEKANBARU, INDONESIA – Today marks the 1st year anniversary of the Forest Conservation Policy published by the Sinar Mas Group’s Asia Pulp & Paper (SMG/APP), yet benefit of these commitments’ remain a big question. Our hope is getting weaker but not stronger.

The anniversary was celebrated without any apparent conservation victory. Even the crucial commitments to save all natural forests, HCV and HCS areas have not become the reality. None of the assessments APP promised have been completed, so one of the most crucial outcome of the policy – decision on which areas would be protected by APP is still pending.

By the time APP started its moratorium, many of APP’s concessions, covering around 2.6 million hectares in total, had already lost much of the natural forest and drained large areas of peatlands. Investigations by Eyes on the Forest and other NGOs showed that even some of the blocks of remaining tropical forest were also cleared after the moratorium.

“The coalition of Eyes on the Forest NGOs have been monitoring performance of APP and its competitor for more than 10 years. Although APP have invited many civilian society organizations for dialog based on APP’s committed for changes, our appreciation for these processes is limited because much of our inputs were not adopted by the company, for example, in development of policy implementation protocols, HCV and HCS assessments,” says Muslim Rasyid from Jikalahari.

Transparency in many processes has been lacking. Detailed information on 38 SMG/APP suppliers are still missing on its dashboard and there are couples of concession areas missing. HCV assessments by consultants in 38 concessions of SMG/APP suppliers nationwide have not yet been completed. Many months after APP promised NGOs to share the draft reports, we are still waiting.

“The serious delay of HCVF assessments by APP consultants has left a crucial question. Is the process for changes by the company on the track or not?” Nursamsu of WWF-Indonesia said. “SMG/APP must take clear and transparent steps in relation to HCVF assessments as their originally promised schedule.”

SMG/APP has not formally and clearly committed to restore natural forest and rich carbon peatlands they have destroyed.

"We will be constantly questioning true SMG/APP commitment regarding to restoration of natural forest and peat forest that has been damaged due to the company’s operation for three decades, and we never find any solution and satisfying implementation until now,” Riko Kurniawan from Walhi Riau said.

With regard to social conflict resolution, there are many unsolved cases and the coalition will continue to monitor the company’s performance on this issue, with or without the FCP. “There are some unresolved disputes between companies and local communities that have not been solved, because they don’t have strong step to identify and solve the problem,” Riko Kurniawan added.

A new annual two-million capacity pulp mill in South Sumatera raised our concern over the feasibility of SMG/APP’s commitments for changes. NGOs need to be alert on the potential negative impacts of the mill’s wood sourcing in several provinces of Indonesia.

The EoF coalition urges company to stop deforestation on its entire supply chain immediately and to promptly start process of restoring and protecting critical ecosystems for the conservation of biodiversity and carbon stock.

The coalition will continue to monitor company’s performance in all aspects, particularly their operations on the ground, with or without commitments from the company.

“One year FCP anniversary is supposed to be a lesson learnt for company to truly reform its practices and remedy the past damages it has caused. Because an anniversary without real conservation triumph is just another form of green washing,” Muslim Rasyid said.

END

Notes to Editor:

Eyes on the Forest coalition are: Jikalahari (NGOs Network for Riau Forest Rescue), WALHI Riau chapter (Friends of Earth Indonesia), and WWF-Indonesia.

For EoF investigative reports and publications on APP and pulp and paper sector please see: www.eyesontheforest.or.id

For further information please contact:

Muslim Rasyid, Jikalahari  +62 – 8127637 233

Riko Kurniawan, WALHI Riau  +62 – 813 7130 2269

Nursamsu,  WWF-Indonesia  e-mail: nursamsu@wwf.or.id

Afdhal Mahyuddin,  EoF Editor +62 – 813 8976 8248



***


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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