EoF News (PEKANBARU) -- A consortium of West Kalimantan civil society organizations accused Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) of breaching its own Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) announced last month where suspension on natural forest and peatland clearance started since 1 February 2013.
In a press release sent Tuesday, consortium called “Kalimantan Forest Monitoring NGOs (RPHK)” said they found two independent suppliers of APP in West Kalimantan, PT Asia Tani Persada (ATP) and PT Daya Tani Kalbar (DTK), to be still logging natural forest, clearing the land and digging deep peat canals after the 1 February, clearance moratorium date initiated by APP.
"We are really concerned to see how heavy equipments are still actively clearing natural forest, digging peat canals in two suppliers’ concessions,” said Baruni Hendri, spokesperson of RPHK consortium.
“Our findings showed that APP is not serious to implement their conservation policy, thus RPHK – as a part of the civil society – doubts APP’s sincerity in the implementation of their commitment”, Hendri added.
In March 2013, RPHK conducted monitoring on three of APP’s supplier companies in West Kalimantan and found two of them to be still cutting down the natural forest and digging new canals in peatland. These findings are well recorded on videos and photos on how those heavy machineries are still operating in these concession areas.
Point 1 of APP’s Moratorium Clearance Protocol Document stated “Logging and land clearing was discontinuedafter January 31, 2013. Either in areasof natural forest stands, areas of Open Land (LT) and Young Scrub (BM) until there is verification". On peatland management, APP’s FCP stated “no further canal or other infrastructure activities will take place within undeveloped suppliers’ concessions on non-forested peatland until independent HCVF assessments including input from peat experts has been completed”.Meanwhile, Point 2 of the document stated that “All heavy equipment (A2B) which are used for logging activities, land clearing, road and canal development (corresponding to the list that has been submitted) will be stored in pre-determined areas”.
RPHK consists of AKAR, JPIK Kalimantan Barat, Link-AR Borneo, SAMPAN (Sahabat Masyarakat Pantai), LEMBA, TITIAN and, WWF-Indonesia.
Anton P. Wijaya, Director Executive of WALHI (Friends of Earth Indonesia) chapter West Kalimantan, said: "We call on global buyers of pulp and paper to remain skeptical and await independent verification by independent NGOs of the field implementation of APP’s FCP before making any new purchasing decision.
“Continued forest clearance and peat canal development by APP suppliers without any HCV, HCS and peat study sends a bad signal about the implementation of APP's commitment to conservation that has been broadcasted around the world. "
RPHK commits to keep monitoring APP’s performance closely and to continue to provide the latest updates to the public.