16 Apr 2014
Doubts on APRILís sustainability commitment escalate as high conservation value forest cleared
PEKANBARU – Eyes on the Forest coalition publishes latest investigative report as a consistency in monitoring deforestation in Sumatra, Riau in particular, as this edition highlights natural forest clearing in high conservation value forest (HCVF) by PT Triomas Forestry Development Indonesia, a supplier to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL).
“The investigation that we conduct has proved a number of alleged violations conducted by PT Triomas from APRIL Group, such as the clearing of high conservation value forest (HCVF) that they were committed in 2005,” Muslim Rasyid, Jikalahari coordinator, said. “This is a record of how doubtful the implication of APRIL’s sustainable forest management (SFMP) is.”
Although the investigation did not catch APRIL cutting the natural forest in the concession of PT Triomas FDI in Kampar Peninsula, team did find evidence of newly conducted clearing, as well as Jikalahari’s previous findings of the logging of Ramin trees, a species protected by IUCN, an international conservation body. The clearing raises questions on APRIL’s commitment credibility that they announced at the end of last January.
“It is still a long way to go and to prove by APRIL that they are really doing more than just a green washing, and to convince that the company is serious with its sustainable commitment to its SFMP, hence, they need to restore HCV-identified forests inside their concessions which is a must,” said Nursamsu of WWF-Indonesia.
Investigative report in PT Triomas’ concession is published on the coalition’s website, www.eyesontheforest.or.id, following a previous report on the same company released by Jikalahari last year (www.jikalahari.or.id). EoF coalition questions the absence of verification by forestry authorities in PT Triomas’ permit, and company’s exclusion from official Spatial Foresty Database 2010, 2011 and 2012. This rises public doubts on the validity of company’s operation which is an APRIL supplier.
The first findings of child labors in the HTI concession in this investigation needs to be probed further by law enforcement and children activists, then the coalition’s partners observe these findings. “In addition to company’s forestry corruption case involving some local officials who have been imprisoned by KPK, social issues such as child labors should be investigated thoroughly. We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate these allegations and bring it to legal process, if there are violations,” Riko Kurniawan, WALHI (Friends of Earth Indonesia) Riau executive director, said.
Kampar Peninsula is a peat swamp forest that is rich of biodiversity and abundant carbon stock. Some companies associated to APRIL and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) are operating in this landscape, then legal and illegal forest conversion into palm oil plantations has also become a threat for the tropical rainforest. EoF coalition calls on the goverment and all stakeholders to protect Kampar Peninsula forest, and urge companies operating to restore the damages caused by forest conversion and peat canal drainage.
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