Member organisations of the Environmental Paper Network are working together to stop paper products being made that involve forest destruction and social conflict in Indonesia.
The Indonesian forests are the homes of communities of indigenous and other peoples whose livelihoods depend on forest resources. They are rich in biodiversity, including rare species such as Sumatran tigers, orang-utans, elephants and rhinos. Many of the remaining rainforests grow on deep peat soils, which release massive amounts of carbon when laid bare by logging and used for intensive tree production. The destruction of Indonesia’s forests and conversion to pulp plantations is therefore a huge social, environmental and climate disaster and working together to stop it is the EPN’s top priority.
The EPN believes that paper linked to massive deforestation represents exactly the opposite of the values and the solutions identified in the Global Paper Vision. For this reason, the EPN is engaged in a global campaign to stop the expansion of such products into paper markets, until the paper industry stops natural forest and peatland conversion, and adequately compensates local communities impacted by their practices.
Launching the campaign back in 2012, 40 European NGOs from Italy, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal, Malta, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland co-signed a letter to the paper industry demanding a stop to any purchase of paper from deforestation in Indonesia and adoption of a responsible paper procurement policy.
In 2012 we wrote joint letters to banks and European Export Credit Agencies, calling on them not to invest in new pulp mills that will inevitably cause more Indonesian deforestation. We also hosted a tour by a delegation of Indonesian activists to Europe (Indonesians Tour report)
As a result of our campaign, many companies have stopped buying paper coming from deforestation in Indonesia, and in a major breakthrough in early 2013, the major paper producer in the area, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), announced a new forest policy.
In June 2015, also Asia Pacific Resources Limited (APRIL) the other paper giant in Indoensia commited to stop immediately deforestation, to protect peatlands and to address social conflicts.
EPN has since led joint work among NGOs to produce a number of milestones that Indonesian paper companies need to meet before being acceptable to customers again. EPN is working together with Indonesian and international NGOs in monitoring progress towards these milestones.
EPN is co-ordinating a global campaigning effort, promoting grassroots actions, keeping information flowing, and ensuring good links between our member organisations and their key activists. We will continue until we have shut down the market for paper linked to deforestation and seen real reform of the Indonesian paper industry.
We will publish updates and further information on this campaign on the EPN Indonesia page on a regular basis. So stay tuned!
In September 2013, international and local conservation organizations spoke with one voice to introduce Performance Milestones for Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) Sustainability Roadmap’ Vision 2020 and new Forest Conservation Policy announced in February. Under the umbrella of the Environmental Paper Network, this collaborative effort seeks to provide clarity to responsible purchasers in the marketplace. […]
On February 5, 2013, after decades of environmental and social conflicts in Indonesia, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced a new Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) including a commitment to zero deforestation. Over the past many years, APP has been criticized for its practices which led to the clearing of millions of hectares of rainforest, the destruction of […]