APRIL’s policy anniversary without real gain, NGOs say

EoF Press Release / 28 January 2015
Forest clearing in PT RAPP Pulau Padang (Padang Island) in 2014. (c) EoF

Jakarta, Indonesia – On the first anniversary of APRIL’s “Sustainable Forest Management Policy”, Eyes on the Forest, Gapeta Borneo and RPHK call on APRIL to stop natural forest clearance and peat canal development immediately.

“After one year, we really do not see the significance of their policy. The commitments and the realities do not make sense. They are simply implementing business as usual,” said Muslim Rasyid, Coordinator of Jikalahari. “APRIL in 2011 already told Government its expanded pulp mill would no longer source any MTH by the end of 20141. APRIL should simply realize that plan.”

“We question the real conservation benefit of the implementation of this policy. APRIL’s HCV protection process continues to be flawed and NGOs continue to find natural forest clearance and canal developments by APRIL without HCV Resource Network peer-reviewed assessment,” said Aditya Bayunanda of WWF-Indonesia.

APRIL was authorized by government to increase its RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper) mill’s pulp production capacity based on a 2011 environmental impact assessment (KA-ANDAL). This report  specifies  that capacity would increase to 2.7 million tons per year.

“Pushing its zero MTH target year to 2019 may suggest that APRIL either is producing more pulp than legally authorized or its plantations are performing very poorly. We need full disclosure,” said Muslim.

No progress is also found on social issues. “APRIL has not acted upon its commitment to resolve outstanding community conflicts,” said Riko Kurniawan, Executive Director of Walhi Riau. “Protests by local communities continue at several areas and most recently, fifteen villagers were jailed for protesting against APRIL for developing their land2.”

The organizations elaborate that there is no clarity and no stakeholder consultation on how APRIL will realize its restoration commitment. There are many unanswered questions around their Kampar and Pulau Padang projects. ”We again call on APRIL not to include government mandated conservation areas in its 500,000 ha restoration target. APRIL has to address its devastating legacy above and beyond what is required by law," Bayunanda said.

“We are disappointed by the ‘stakeholder engagement’ practiced by APRIL,” said Syamsul Rusdi of RPHK. “Regarding the continued deforestation by APRIL’s supplier in East Kalimantan, PT. Adindo Hutani Lestari, APRIL conducted one joint field verification with us in May, but then ended its engagement. The supplier continues to clear natural forest on deep peat in violation of government regulations and APRIL’s policy today, without a HCV Resource Network reviewed assessment.”

Notes for editors:

1 PT. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (Novemebr 2011) Kerangka Acuan Analisis Dampak Lingkungan (KA=ANDAL) Rencana Peningkatan Kapasitas Produksi Pulp, Kertas dan Fasilitas Pendukungnya. They planned the 2014 MTH supply to only come from their joint ventures but not RAPP.

2 In January 2015, fifteen people of Lubuk Jering village were imprisoned based on the report by PT. RAPP who accused them for encroachment of the company’s concession, whereas the villagers had been living in the area for generations. See Bertuahpos.com (7 January 2015) Camat Sungai Mandau Kesal, RAPP Penjarakan Warganya dengan Tuduhan Perambah Hutan. http://bertuahpos.com/berita/camat-sungai-mandau-kesal-rapp-penjarakan-warganya.html

3 NGOs have found two suppliers of APRIL to continue deforestation after the SFMP publication. See for example:

Ÿ  Eyes on the Forest (20 November 2014) APRIL/RGE continues deforestation. PT. RAPP operations violate government regulations and its own sustainability policy in Pulau Padang, Riau, Sumatra. http://eyesontheforest.or.id/attach/EoF (20Nov14) APRIL RGE continues deforestation - grievance submitted to APRIL SAC EN final.pdf (English) http://eyesontheforest.or.id/attach/Laporan Investigatif EoF (Nov2014) PT RAPP Pulau Padang.pdf (Bahasa Indonesia)

Ÿ  GAPETA Borneo, RPHK and WWF-Indonesia (20 May 2014) Natural Forest Clearance Continues on Deep Peat in APRIL Supplier Concession. APRIL’s sustainability commitment questioned, High Conservation Value Forest cleared. http://awsassets.wwf.or.id/downloads/report_april_hcvf_clearance_continues__english__1.pdf (English)

4 APRIL only published the SAC recommendations (https://aprilasia.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/sac-recommendations_3rdmeeting.pdf) but did not publish the KPMG audit report. Yesterday, the KPMG report was leaked anonymously at http://www.docdroid.net/q7nk/kpmg-audit-of-april-policy.pdf.html

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