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...
According to the Indonesian coalition Eyes on the Forest (EoF), Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is not complaining with the moratorium on natural forest logging announced by the company last February. In a report released yesterday, EoF exposed natural forest clearing in concession of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) supplier, PT Riau Indo Agropalma (RIA), in Kerumutan forest block, an important Sumatran tiger habitat in Riau province.
According to APP however, the clearing was carried out in the area managed by a local community in partnership with PT Riau Indo Agropalma, which is therefore not included in the moratorium. The company promised a deep investigation on the case. According to NGOs, the case shows that the moratorium still contain loopholes that allow natural forest clearing.
"APP/SMG: The pulping continues"analyzes the “sustainability roadmap” issued by controversial Indonesia deforester Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). The analysis found there is no natural forest left to apply their new policies to in Riau Province, since all natural forest in their ‘own’ concessions had either already been cleared or protected under Indonesian law or APP showcase commitments which are also mostly nothing more than confirmation that the company would obey the law. The report finds "the fate of up to 1.2 million hectares, more than half of Riau’s remaining forest, remains in danger of being cleared by APP/SMG’s so-called 'independent suppliers' who can continue to deliver natural forest wood to the company’s mills unaffected by the new forest policies." These forests include some of the last refuges of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and elephant, as well as forests on carbon-rich deep peat, whose clearing will lead to very high carbon emissions for decades to come.
Not only is APP backtracking from the broken sustainability commitments of 2004 and 2007, it also appears to be moving back from commitments made just a year ago in its “Vision 2020, a roadmap to guide sustainability principles, goals and program.” In this announcement, APP said it would “source 100 percent of its pulpwood supply from sustainable plantation stock by the end of 2015”. The 2012 roadmap switches terminology from “100 per cent sourcing” to “100 per cent capability” with the introduction of a new loophole for “Mixed Tropical Hardwood (MTH) waste & residues”.
"APP/SMG: The pulping continues" includes photographic evidence of clearfelled rainforest areas APP calls “waste and residues.
Greenomics Indonesia feels compelled to respond to the APP in the form of a Greenomics report, given that the EoF report quoted from a number of Greenomics reports as one of the grounds on which it based its conclusions. In these Greenomics reports, all of our arguments were based on legal and official documents issued by the APP Group itself, which were submitted to and approved by the Ministry of Forestry. In responding to APP’s press release, Greenomics Indonesia also feels it necessary to highlight a misleading PR effort directed at the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry on 16 December 2011 during a meeting that was attended by APP representatives at the request of the Secretary General of the Minister of Forestry in order to discuss the case of PT Ruas Utama Jaya (RUJ), an APP wood supplier operating in Riau Province that have a concession extending to 44,330 hectares. During this meeting, the APP representatives purported to explain various issues concerning the operations of RUJ, including the RUJ operations map and land cover conditions in the area.
It should be stressed here that the practice of clearing natural forest on the RUJ concession has become the principal issue that gave rise to the bitter war of words between EoF and APP in the wake of the publication of the EoF report. In this Greenomics Indonesia report, we shall discuss four things, namely:
* Legal concession map versus commitment to the protection of Sumatran tiger habitat in the RUJ concession;
* The clearing of Sumatran tiger habitat in the RUJ concession;
* The driving of Sumatran tigers from the RUJ concession to deep-peat concession areas; and
* Misleading PR by APP in respect of the part of the RUJ concession which APP claims has been set aside for conservation purposes.
APP continues repeating the same false statements together with some new twists, all trying to hide the ultimate foundation of the Sinar Mas Group/APP’s operations: the continuing destruction of natural tropical forest and drainage of peat soils. APP’s PR effort today is bigger and with more aggressive use of the media than ever before. APP has recruited a wide variety of publicists, individuals and supposedly independent NGOs to flack its allegedly green practices, including, Cohn & Wolfe, Environmental Resource Management, Alan Oxley and his World Growth and ITS Global, Mazars, Carbon Conservation, Patrick Moore and his Greenspirit Strategies, Bastoni and his Sumatran Tiger Conservation Foundation (YPHS). It runs its commercials globally on CNN, Sky TV and other international broadcasting channels.
In this report, Eyes on the Forest investigates APP’s PR claims. Has there been any improvement of SMG/APP’s practices on the ground? Has there been a reduction of the company’s impact on the world’s most diverse natural tropical forests, wildlife, and the world’s climate?
The answer is a straightforward: No. SMG/APP continues draining deep peat soils and clearing natural forests and its negative impact is increasing with the scale of its operations.
PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa – which operates in Riau Province – has cleared peatland forest extending to more than half of its concession for the purpose of providing land for the planting of acacia. This sets a bad precedent for logging concession management in Indonesia. The timber resulting from the PT MSK’s land clearing operations was supplied as raw materials to PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper (PT IKPP/Asia Pulp and Paper) for use in its pulp and paper plants.
Seemingly indefatigable, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) is continuing to go all out to convince the global public that the Sinar Mas Group company’s pulp and paper operations are committed to the conservation of Indonesia’s biodiversity.
In fact, just recently APP “challenged” global public opinion through an advertisement it placed in The New York Times, inviting the global public to monitor its commitment to biodiversity conservation.
APP also continues to claim that its operations have voluntarily set aside a certain portion of their concessions as an expression of its commitment to biodiversity conservation.
This Greenomics Indonesia report will reveal the true reason why APP’s flagship Taman Raja and Kampar Carbon Reserves have been set aside, something that is continually touted to the global public through advertisements as an expression of APP’s commitment to biodiversity conservation.
In fact, the reason for the two reserves is eminently simple. This report, supported by official and legal data, sets out the true situation as regards the reason for APP’s actions in setting aside the reserves.
The maps of legally protected areas, proposed moratorium areas, and forests and peatlands at risk.
The data shows this proposed moratorium does little to protect areas that are not already off limits under Indonesia's existing laws. The forests, peatlands and all the wildlife living within them will continue to suffer deforestation from the pulp, paper and palm oil industries. This land is vital to the survival of rare tigers and orang-utans as well as the livelihoods of local people. Unfortunately, under this plan the majority of forested orang-utan habitat will remain unprotected and vulnerable to destruction.
In September, Greenomics Indonesia was afforded the opportunity to make two presentations to the Ministry of Forestry regarding the need for Indonesia to immediately reposition itself as a pulp and paper producer. The presentations were chaired by the Ministry of Forestry’s Secretary General, Dr. Hadi Daryanto. The first presentation, on 12 September, was attended by internal Ministry of Forestry figures, while the second presentation, on 14 September, was attended by representatives of APP (Asia Pulp and Paper) and APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited).
Peat surface CO2 emission, groundwater table depth and peat temperature were moni- tored for two years along transects in an Acacia plantation on thick tropical peat (>4 m) in Sumatra, Indonesia.
A total of 2300 emission measurements were taken at 144 locations.
The autotrophic root respiration component of the CO2 emission was separated from heterotrophic emissions caused by peat oxidation in three ways: (i) by compar- ing CO2 emissions within and beyond the tree rooting zone, (ii) by comparing CO2 emissions with and without peat trenching (i.e. cutting any roots remaining in the peat beyond the tree rooting zone), and (iii) by comparing CO2 emissions before and after Acacia trees harvesting.
On 31 May 2011 – exactly one week prior to the issuing of the statement and eleven days since the introduction of the moratorium on the issuing of new licenses and on improvement of management of natural primary and peatland forest – Minister of Forestry Zulfkifli Hasan issued Minister of Forestry Decree No. SK.292/Menhut-II/2011 on changing the status and functions of designated forestland in Central Kalimantan Province. The said change in status and functions was related to the revision of the Central Kalimantan Provincial Spatial Plan (RTRWP) and was an effort to resolve confusion over land use allocations in the province. The said Decree converted a total of 1.67 million hectares (round number) of forestland to non-forestland, and changed the functions of forestland extending to 690 thousand hectares (round number). In addition, the Decree designated around 30 thousand hectares of non-forestland as forestland.
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.
Non-governmental organizations working in Riau Province, Sumatra, urge the Government to include 1.2 million hectares of remaining natural forest in Riau in the two-year moratorium on natural forest and peat conversion that is part of the US$ 1 billion Indonesia-Norway REDD Letter of Intent.
Maps predicting the moratorium’s impact on Riau -- submitted by Eyes on the Forest to the REDD+ Task Force yesterday -- show that up to 1.2 million hectares, almost half of Riau’s remaining natural forest, is actually inside existing concessions where natural forest and peat conversion can continue, even with the moratorium in place. EoF coalition fears that the worst impact would be in the deep peat areas of Riau, where it would cause huge greenhouse gas emissions, largely undermining the president’s global commitment to reduce them.
Briefing Note for Customers and Investors on Indonesia’s Proposed Moratorium on New Permits for Forest and Peat Land Clearance. Private Sector Action Needed to Adopt Safeguards and Support Reforms Required to Address Deforestation and Emissions in Indonesia
A forest named by international scientists as one of the top 20 priority landscapes globally for the survival of the tiger is being systematically targeted for pulp production by Asia Pulp & Paper/Sinar Mas Group (APP/SMG), one of the world’s largest paper suppliers. This is in breach of company’s claims that it doesn’t target high quality and high conservation value forest for clearing and that it’s carbon footprint is close to neutral.
Greenomics Indonesia's report on Wednesday criticizes Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a member of Sinar Mas Group, through its affiliated company PT Putra Riau Perkasa, of deceiving public “in an attempt to dupe the public into believing that the company is ‘going green’. According to this report, claims by APP in developing PT Putra Riau Perkasa as a “Carbon Reserve” project in Kampar Peninsula on Sumatra Island, “is only half true.” PT Putra Riau Perkasa’s own micro-delineation report found that none of the 15,640 hectares of land covered by the concession was suitable for development as pulpwood plantations, the report said. "This was because the land satisfied all of the legal requirements for designation as protected zone, with 12,799 hectares consisting of deep peat, 1,429 hectares of being rich in biodiversity, and 1,270 hectares satisfying the criteria for protection as a nature reserve," says the report. The announcement of Kampar Carbon Reserve initiative to the public, APP is only “doing nothing more than attempting to establish its “green credentials” in the face of mounting international criticism” for Sinar Mas’ notorious forestry practices, according to Greenomics.
In order to develop a more complete carbon footprint estimate for Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) paper production in Sumatra, RAN estimated the carbon emissions from peat land decomposition and harvest biomass related to APP’s pulp mills woodchip supply, both of which carbon sources had not been properly included in a published carbon footprint analysis conducted for APP by Environmental Resources Management (ERM). RAN's analysis estimates the carbon footprint of APP’s paper production in Sumatra to be in the range of 16 – 21 tons of CO2e per ton of paper. This is nearly 550 – 700 times higher than the ERM estimate, which did not include these land use sources of carbon emissions, of 0.03 tons of CO2 per ton of paper. Our estimate of APP’s total emissions is 67 – 86 million tons of CO2e from its Indonesian pulp and paper mills and forest concessions. This ranks APP ahead of the emissions of 165 countries around the world in 2006. Buyers of APP paper should be aware that APP’s paper has a huge undisclosed carbon footprint.
Sinar Mas hired a group of auditors to evaluate the evidence, published by Greenpeace International, of its oil palm division’s role in the clearance of carbon-rich peatlands and critical wildlife habitat in Indonesia. Sinar Mas claimed that the audit showed it ‘operates responsibly and within the laws’ and that Greenpeace claims were ‘exaggerated or wrong’, a move which backfired when the auditors themselves criticised the company for misrepresenting its findings.
However, rather than address the impact of its current operations on the climate, Sinar Mas has since hired the Australia-based consultancy ITS Global (International Trade Strategies Global) to ‘assess the validity and accuracy of the claims’ made by Greenpeace ‘based on the evidence cited in the report’. ITS Global is headed by Alan Oxley – a well-known industry apologist.
ITS Global appears to have been paid by Sinar Mas to cast doubt on the reliability of Greenpeace evidence – without any attempt to ground-truth the validity of the findings or to provide credible evidence to back up its claims. The validity of the data used by Greenpeace is demonstrated below.
Photographic evidence, aerial monitoring and field analysis details how the Sinar Mas group continues to clear rainforest containing priceless biodiversity – such as orangutan habitat - and carbon-rich peatlands, despite public promises it has made to clean up its act.
Sinar Mas group is notorious for its destruction of millions of acres of Indonesian rainforest, peatland and wildlife habitat. Two divisions within the group lead the destruction: pulp and palm oil. Recently, the group has diversified into coal.
40 European NGOs sent a letter to paper companies demanding to stop any eventual purchase of paper from the Indonesian-Chinese paper giant Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). APP and its fibre suppliers are estimated to be the single largest source of rainforest destruction in Sumatra and are pushing three highly endangered species - the Sumatran tiger, elephant and orang-utan - closer to extinction.
Doing business with APP at this time supports the further expansion of its operations into Indonesia’s last tropical forests and peatlands. The company is, in our view, the least responsible pulp and paper producer globally. Since it began operations in the 1980s, APP is estimated to have pulped more than 1 million hectares of natural forests in Sumatra. The company now has forestry operations in Kalimantan to fill wood supply gaps and is trying to enter Papua, Indonesia’s last forest frontier.
In 2009 Global Paper Giants APP and APRIL set out to pulp 5% of Riau’s remaining tropical rainforest erased identified High Conservation Value Forests deforested and drained legally protected deep peat cleared internationally recognized priority Sumatran tiger conservation forests.
This Eyes on the Forest report focuses on large scale deforestation by APP and APRIL against their own published sustainability policies and commitments to buyers, investors and the general public to protect High Conservation Value Forests, critical species habitats and the climate. Their actions challenge our President’s commitment to reduce the country’s carbon emissions. They undermine Indonesia’s commitment to ensure the survival of the critically endangered tiger.
Sumatra’s peat swamp forests not only provide habitat for endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, they are also of critical importance in mitigating climate change. The clearing and draining of peatlands is the key reason why Indonesia is the world’s third largest GHG emitter.
The report shows how major brands like Walmart, Auchan and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are fueling climate change and pushing Sumatran tigers and orang-utans towards the brink of extinction. zoom Download the full report These companies are using or selling paper made from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), part of the notorious Sinar Mas group that is destroying Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands. Greenpeace investigated two important rainforest areas on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and discovered that Sinar Mas is wreaking environmental havoc in both. The Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape is one of the last refuges for endangered Sumatran tigers and orang-utans. Kerumutan’s carbon rich peatlands are a key defence against climate change; some of the forest’s peat is deeper than three meters and thus illegal to clear under Indonesian law. Sinar Mas' paper arm APP uses the logs from these rainforest areas to feed its Sumatran based pulp mills, which export pulp and paper products worldwide.
An Eyes on the Forest (EoF) investigation conducted in November - December 2009 confirmed that two Industrial Timber Plantation companies associated with Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) of Sinar Mas Group (SMG), namely PT Bina Duta Laksana (PT BDL) and PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa (PT MSK), continue to clear natural forest and dig drainage canals through the deep peat inside Kerumutan forest block under legally questionable circumstances. The forest clearance and peat draining by the two companies started in 2005.
Tools & Solutions
EoF maps of Indonesia
Forests and deforestation on updated google maps