A European campaign
The rapid expansion market of paper products linked to deforestation in Indonesia into the European is supporting the further expansion of pulp plantations into Indonesia’s last tropical forests and peatlands. EEPN is promoting a European-wide campaign to stop the expansion of such products into the European market and to protect Indonesia’s rainforests and forest communities rights. Read more...
A coalition of Indonesia’s NGOs called Anti-Forest Mafia Coalition urged global pulp buyers last week to beware of allegedly corruption-tainted pulp products following an analysis of timber companies’ involvement in graft cases that jailed government officials in Riau province. The coalition in a press conference in Jakarta also urged the government to curb logging licenses to companies who allegedly involved in forest corruption cases and bring the timber companies to justice.
The NGOs consist of Jikalahari, ICW, IWGFF, Walhi, Sawit Watch, Telapak, Greenpeace and Huma held a press conference last week following the coalition’s submission of data on corruption to the national Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Corruption – the abuse of entrusted power for private gain – undermines good governance and the rule of law. Corruption in the forestry sector further degrades the environment, threatens rural communities and robs the public of billions of dollars each year. Transparency International (TI) is committed to promote corruption-free forest governance that enables sustainable forest management, increased economic development, poverty reduction and environmental protection. To help achieve this objective, TI Indonesia (TII), through the Forest Governance Integrity Programme (FGI), will monitor the existing corruption risks and anti-corruption tools in the forestry sector in Riau, Aceh and Papua, Indonesia.
The methodology of the research is based on the FGI Risk Manual1 which provides a generic framework for assessing the impact and likelihood of corruption in the commodity chains related to the forestry sector and the anti-corruption tools that are available, in order to establish the high-risk corruption areas for focused advocacy.
PT Bina Duta Laksana (PT BDL) is an industrial logging and pulp wood plantation company that supplies tropical timber and plantation fiber to Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper company that has recently moved its headquarters to China. With PT BDL, APP is now grabbing land, decimating the farms, wetlands and forest lands once considered useless or unprofitable for the logging sector. The new frontiers and increased impacts of industrial pulp wood plantations are taking a serious toll on Riau’s forests, leaving only 37 percent of the forest that existed in Riau in 1985.
35 Indonesian NGOs sent a letter to companies to ask them to reduce your company’s consumption and environmental footprint by establishing social and environmental safeguards on procurement and by helping to bring about crucial changes to the Indonesian pulp and paper industry’s practices as well as supporting related government policy reforms. The Indonesian NGOs request that investors adopt similar safeguards in relation to investments in Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector.
Indonesia has one of the world’s largest areas of remaining forest but also one of the world’s highest deforestation rates. Reported exports from its lucrative timber sector were worth $US6.6 billion in 2007, second only to Brazil and worth some $2 billion more than all African and Central American nations combined. But in recent years almost half of all Indonesian timber has been logged illegally at a staggering cost to the Indonesian economy and public welfare.
In this report Human Rights Watch details these costs and their human rights impacts. Using industry-standard methodology, we estimate that the Indonesian government lost an average of nearly $2 billion annually between 2003 and 2006 due to illegal logging, corruption, and mismanagement. The total includes: forest taxes and royalties never collected on illegally harvested timber; shortfalls due to massive unacknowledged subsidies to the forestry industry (including basing taxes on artificially low market price and exchange rates); and losses from tax evasion by exporters practicing a scam known as “transfer pricing.”
A report into how corruption on the part of Indonesian police and government officials is to blame for continued illegal logging in Indonesia’s national parks.
In 1997, a major financial crisis struck Asia. In the wake of that crisis, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank provided large loans to the Indonesian government in return for their commitment to implement policy reforms intended to stabilize the economy and rekindle growth. Those reforms included various measures explicitly designed to improve forest management, most of which focused on forest concessions run by large Indonesian conglomerates.
The strategy those two agencies adopted had three major flaws regarding forests. First, at the same time that the two agencies were supporting forest policies intended to limit unsustainable logging, they also encouraged several non-forest policies that actually stimulated deforestation and more widespread logging. Second, by the late 1990s large forest concessions were responsible for an increasingly small portion of forest clearing and unsustainable logging. Logging outside concessions and land clearing for agriculture had become the main sources of forest destruction. Hence, focusing on concessions dealt with only a limited piece of the problem. Third, a number of the specific forest concession reforms endorsed by the IMF and the World Bank may have actually increased pressure on Indonesia's forests.
The research conducted for this study was funded, in part, by WWF-Austria, WWF-Switzerland, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. WWF-Indonesia has also assisted in the dissemination of some of the study’s preliminary findings. I gratefully acknowledge the support of each of these organizations. Any opinions presented in the following chapters, however, are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official policy of any of these organizations.
Tools & Solutions
EoF maps of Indonesia
Forests and deforestation on updated google maps