30 August 2019 / EoF Investigative Report
This report is an investigation conducted by Eyes on the Forest (EoF) in May 2010. EoF’s investigation in this period have proved that PT Mitra Kembang Selaras clearcutting of natural forest in area which identified as High Conservation Value Forest based on the analysis by WWF.
This investigation is aimed at monitoring the condition of natural forest in Riau and proved the delivery of the woods felled from natural forest to a company that uses them. The activity conducted by EoF which well-known as Chain of Custody (CoC) is applying a direct field observation method and interviews on the spot with several workers, field supervisors in the observed location. The collected data is to prove that the delivery of woods from the logging site, from loading site until they will be received by PT RAPP pulp mill (APRIL) in Pangkalan Kerinci.
PT Mitra Kembang Selaras, a developer of industrial timber plantation (HTI), which is affiliated to PT RAPP and APRIL, in 2009, clearcut natural forest covering an area of 3,420 hectares with the potential mixed tropical hardwoods of 365,849, cubic meter which allowed by the Decree 07/BPHT-3/2009, dated 02 April 2009. In 2010, this company continue to clearcut natural forest covering an area of 2,436 hectares with potential mixed tropical hardwood of 249,960 cubic meter on the basis of Annual Work Plan (RKT) issued by the Ministry of Forestry through the Decree of Director of Industrial Plantation Development, SK. 14/BPHT-3/2010, dated 25 March 2010.
APRIL’s breach against HCVF Protection. APRIL has committed to its buyers, investors and the general public to protect High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) professionally and independently identified following the stakeholder driven HCVF Toolkit for Indonesia (APRIL's Fact Sheet http://www.aprilasia.com/images/stories/hcvf.pdf). In August 2005, APRIL conducted a review of HCVF in the concession of PT Mitra Kembang Selaras and followed by WWF Indonesia’s HCVF review in the same year. HCVF studies by APRIL and WWF in this concession until this report is published, there hasn’t been any agreement on delineation by multi-stakeholders.
In 2008, APRIL has signed a contract with the Rainforest Alliance not to clear natural forest in the absence of any professional HCVF assessment as well as a disputed delineation of HCVF by stakeholders which haven’t been agreed yet. PT Mitra Kembang Selaras is one of parts which is referred to this contract not to clear natural forest before the delineation is agreed.
However, by 2009 and 2010, APRIL kept clearcutting and received raw materials from natural forest clearance which potentially contained HCVF. In 2010, the Rainforest Alliance suspended an interim FSC Controlled Wood certificate that has been submitted to the Forestry Division of PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper, owned by APRIL (reference: SmartWood SW-CW/FM-003712).
In May 2010, Eyes on the Forest proved that PT Mitra Kembang Selaras clearcut natural forest in area identified as High Conservation Value Forest based upon WWF’s analysis (map 1). PT Mitra Kembang Selaras is located in Kerumutan landscape which is an important one for tiger conservation that is recognized globally in addition to Kampar Peninsula, Bukit Tigapuluh and Senepis-Buluhala.
EoF investigation showed that APRIL is not committed to its promise to protect HCVF and not to use timber for raw material from areas that contain HCVF. Therefore, Eyes on the Forest calls on the business partner of APRIL to consider cooperation with APRIL and not believe in their claims of sustainability.