Pekanbaru (EoF News) – Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of three environmental NGOs in Riau, Sumatra releases its Investigative Report February 2007 today. The EoF Investigation found Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to be involved in forest clearance operations in a concession in Kerumutan forest block, as it continued the report of November 2006 edition.
In this investigation EoF found that around 3,000 hectares of natural forests had been clearcut by PT Arara Abadi, APP's subsidiary, along with other contractors. In November 2006 the companies have clearcut the natural forests in that concession by 2,000 ha. EoF considers this operation allegedly illegal as well as destroying potential High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) despite the government has approved the renewal licenses that divide the concession management into two silvicultural systems as APP responded to the November 2006 report.
EoF strongly calls all the concession holder involved, PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa, as well as APP to immediately stop their logging and timber sourcing operations to prevent questionable clearing of natural forests which are: (1) still in good condition, and (2) on peat soil deeper than 3m. The development of industry timber plantation (HTI) in the concession remains questionable of its legality since there should be criteria met by the APP's partners to do so as EoF found through satellite images that the natural forest still in good condition.
EoF also strongly calls APP to work with local NGOs to conduct HCVF assessment as well as delineate all HCVFs prior to any logging of natural forests as in concessions of PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa. APP responds to EoF findings that PT MSK operations in Kerumutan was granted approval from the government, still the company fails to comply with ecological requirements as mentioned before. The APP response did not answer the EoF findings on environmental aspects, hence the coalition strongly calls APP not to source timber from such allegedly illegal operations and not to destroy potential HCVFs. Find Investigative Report February 2007 | Bahasa version