APP moratorium: deforestation continued

EoF External Publications / 17 December 2013 / RPHK

Asia Pulp & Paper’s (APP) Indonesia operations have long focused on the island of Sumatra where it operates two large pulp mills and has most of its plantation operations. But over the past 10 years, APP has slowly been expanding its fiber supplier base into Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo island. Earlier this year, APP disclosed ten supplier companies in Kalimantan, six in East Kalimantan and four in West Kalimantan province.

In February 2013, the company announced a new “forest conservation” policy (FCP)”, promising a halt to deforestation and peat degradation. APP has been globally advertising the great benefits the FCP had for Indonesia’s forests. Yet shortly after the announcement Greenomics and Eyes on the Forest (EoF), respectively presented analyses showing how little natural forest APP’s new forest policy actually saved in Sumatra.

Much more natural forest apparently could have been saved had the company not initiated a last minute rush to clear natural forest before the moratorium deadline. In September 2013, the company revealed that 15 suppliers cleared much more tropical forest wood than APP’s pulp mills used. APP reported that only 56% of the natural forest wood cleared before the moratorium (899,663 m3 out of the 1,606,098 m3) had been received by it’s mills by the self-set deadline of August 31, 2013. It appears that the mills did not need the wood left behind in the concessions.

They represent forest that the company could have saved had it truly been committed to forest conservation.  

The Kalimantan forest monitoring NGO consortium “Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan” (RPHK), has been analyzing the impact APP’s new conservation policy had on Borneo’s forests. Here it reports how one of APP’s largest suppliers continued deforestation and peat degradation until long after the moratorium deadline, despite the company already having announced that it had a large oversupply of logs in its concessions’ wood depots, and asking civil society to help it find solutions for what to do with all the rotting wood.