EoF News (PEKANBARU) – WWF Indonesia published its position on APRIL today. It wrote: “Until APRIL changes course and to demonstrate its responsibility and sustainability in the field, WWF recommends that existing or potential buyers and investors should be wary of conducting any business with APRIL if they want to avoid the risk of contributing to natural forest destruction.
”WWF explained that in April 2010, Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood Program suspended APRIL’s interim FSC Controlled Wood certificate for their PT. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper Forestry Division (Riaufiber) operations which covered approximately 350,000 hectares out of more than 1.8 million hectares APRILhas under its management.
The decision was based on RA/SW audits in 2009 that found non-conformance of APRIL operations with FSC Controlled Wood requirements, as well as Rainforest Alliance’s conditions agreed by APRIL in August 2008 to not clear any natural forests for which no professional HCVF assessments had been done or for which the APRIL’s HCVF delineation was disputed by stakeholders. In July and November 2010, the Eyes on the Forest project published two investigative reports detailing how APRIL violated its agreement with Rainforest Alliance, commitments to WWF, and its own public commitment to protect High Conservation Value Forests throughout their corporate operations in 2009 and 2010.
The Eyes on the Forest reports also confirmed that Rainforest Alliance’s request to APRIL to “within 10 days [....] stop all conversion of natural forest, including secondary or degraded forest in peat forest area” was not met, WWF said. On the statement, referring to deadline given by RA's SmartWood, the organization said, "Given these facts, WWF concludes that APRIL has no serious intention to protect its High Conservation Value Forests or to regain FSC CW certification." "This is sad news for Sumatra’s forests. WWF worked for years to encourage and support APRIL to become a leader in the pulp & paper industry and adopt best management practices that would bring the company on a road towards sustainable development. However, the company has failed to make fundamental changes to its practices," WWF said on its position.
Full WWF statement on APRIL