Investigative Report: APP clear natural forest in GSK Senepis Kampar blocks

EoF Investigative Report / 02 July 2007

Eyes on the Forest (EoF) Investigation in March, April and June 2007 have found that about 38,000 hectares of natural forests in northern Bukit Batu wildlife reserve had been clearcut simultaneously in three industry timber plantation (HTI) concessions of   PT Satria Perkasa Agung (8,560 ha), PT Sakato Pratama Makmur (15,461 ha) and PT Tiara Cahaya Delima (13,984 ha). All the three companies are subsidiaries as well as timber suppliers for Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) mill in Riau.     

These investigations were conducted following the survey by the Landsat satellite images in August 2006. EoF analyzed the natural forests conversion inside the Giam Siak Kecil block started from June 2005 to August 2006.     PT Satria Perkasa Agung and PT Sakato Pratama Makmur are subsidiaries of Sinar Mas Group, part of APP. EoF analyzed based on the field observation that PT Tiara Cahaya Delima is a timber supplier for APP mill where its HTI license’s status is inactive as data of the official Riau Forestry Service 2006 said.

The logging operation that conducted by PT Sakato Pratama Makmur (15,461 ha) occurs in area that recommended as High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) based upon HCVF Analysis of Giam Siak Kecil Landscape, Riau, Sumatera, 2003.     EoF highlighted its investigation this time to PT Tiara Cahaya Delima for its inactive HTI license as found in the provincial forestry service.

EoF has not found any logging license granted to the company for the year of 2005 and 2006, while the forest clearcutting in the concession has reached 13,984 ha out of 15,000 ha.     This EoF investigation has not found who sourced the felled timber from concession of PT Tiara Cahaya Delima; however, based upon the field survey on the logging activity as well as information from villagers, EoF believes that PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper (IKPP), a pulp mill belonging to APP, has been involving in sourcing timber from the such a concession.      

Eyes on the Forest Investigation in March and April 2007 also continued the report of December 2006. EoF again proved that a 4,500-hectare natural forest conversion occurred inside industrial timber plantation concession of PT Arara Abadi, a subsidiary of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). 

APP’s response to EoF Investigative Report December 2006 dated 29 May 2007 implicitly showed that the pulp and paper company has committed illegal logging on natural forest of Kampar Peninsula block. APP failed to specify legality basis granted by the government to support the logging operation in such a concession. APP’s excuse that the pulpwood plantation development as part of environmental management plan is clearly misleading and unacceptable.

In fact, EoF investigation found that over 4,500 hectares of natural forests had been destroyed for acacia plantation in the peatland-rich Kampar Peninsula. The destruction pose threat to the potentially loss of carbon reserve and incite climate change.

EoF Investigation in March, April and June 2007 has found that a 15-km logging road (corridor) is built in Senepis forest block by PT Ruas Utama Jaya, a company associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). The ongoing road construction connects Buluhala village via concession of PT Suntara Gajah Pati, an APP subsidiary. The road is built by cutting through the natural forest with 100-m width including canal development at both sides.

EoF has not found yet a 45-km road construction from Ujung Tanjung village or inside PT Ruas Utama Jaya’s concession as its management planned to build (Riau Pos daily, 25 January 2007). The newspaper’s report said that PT Ruas Utama Jaya planned to develop logging road over 45-km length from Ujung Tanjung (Rokan Hilir district) to Buluhala village of Dumai municipality.