APRIL violations make its SFMP not trustworthy

EoF News / 08 June 2014

EoF News (PEKANBARU) - Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), a Singapore-based giant pulp and one of leading actors in Indonesia deforestation, has allegedly violated its self-declared Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) commitment in two areas: North Kalimantan and Riau. The violations put more doubts on its SFMP which was just announced on 28 January 2014.

In the end of last month, three green groups working in Kalimantan namely GAPETA Borneo, Kalimantan Forest Monitoring NGOs (RPHK) and WWF-Indonesia East Kalimantan launched an investigative report revealing that PT Adindo Hutani Lestari (PT AHL), a timber supplier of APRIL, has continued to clear natural forest on protected peat in Sesayap sector, North Kalimantan province after the giant pulp issued its Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) in January 2014.

Sesayap Sector of AHL’s concession still has a large area of good natural forest, much of it on deep peat, the NGO coalition said. They also urged RGE/APRIL to immediately start a forest clearance moratorium in all APRIL suppliers’ concessions, even if APRIL had commissioned HCV assessments already.

"These findings confirm an indisputable fact that APRIL lacks seriousness in implementing their sustainable commitments. We are increasingly questioning their SFMP,” says Syachraini from WWF-Indonesia.

This is not the only violation found in the first semester of 2014. Previously in March and April, more violations revealed in Riau province, Sumatra. Riau Peat Society Network (JMGR) and villagers of Bagan Melibur village red-handed two heavy equipments of PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper’s, APRIL’s affiliated company, operating on natural forest peatland in the village, Merbau Sub-district, Meranti District, Riau.

As explained on riauhijau.com, two months right after APRIL’s new SFMP announcement, society of Bagan Melibur Village caught PT RAPP’s land clearing activity and digging peat land for canals on 26 March 2014. Though demonstrations and mediation had been held, the conflicts still finds no resolution and the natural forest clearing continues.

In addition to that, in April 2014 EoF published an investigative report highlighting natural forest clearance in high conservation value forest (HCVF) by PT Triomas Forestry Development Indonesia in Kampar Peninsula, Riau province. Beside natural forest clearing, the report also reveals child labor found the concession.

All these violation reports appear not long after the announcement of APRIL’s SFMP which means that the alleged breaches have been conducted some time before they’re revealed, which means to be allegedly conducted since February 2014.  

All these violations are in contrast to APRIL’s SFMP commitment which claims to halt deforestation and receiving timber supplies from HCVF areas, said Muslim Rasyid of Jikalahari. On peat land management, APRIL promised a moratorium of all kinds of activities until independent HCVF assessment completed.

Then, the giant pulp also promised social conflict resolutions in accordance to its so-called FPIC (Free, Prior, Informed and Consent) principle. However, the truth on the field proves nothing close to a good sustainable forest management, Muslim said.