JAKARTA, Indonesia, Feb 12, 2013 â€“ Following the announcement by Asia Pulp & Paper that it has stopped all clearance of Indonesian forests, WWF is now calling on its competitor Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) to stop pulping tropical rainforest.
â€œAPRIL is now the single largest converter of natural forest among Indonesiaâ€™s pulp producers,â€ said Nazir Foead, Conservation Director of WWF-Indonesia. â€œWe urge the company to immediately change their unsustainable business model and stop draining our peat soils and converting our forestsâ€.
The Sumatran NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest reported that APRIL has become the Province of Riauâ€™s largest agent of deforestation, cutting at least 140,000 ha of tropical forest, mostly located on peat soils, between 2008 and 2011. APRIL was thus responsible for almost 1/3 of all tropical forest loss in Riau during that period.
APRILâ€™s public commitments to sustainable and natural forest fiber free operations after 2009 has been greenwashing. APRIL in Riau knowingly pulped natural forest wood from concessions inside areas that were designated for protection according to national regulations. The companyâ€™s operations caused serious conflict with local communities especially because of the loss of traditionally owned forests and land, and degradation of natural resources.
Two thirds of the companyâ€™s supplying concessions in Riau are located on peat soils whose deforestation, drainage and associated decomposition are leading to constant green house gas emissions.
â€œDespite being in business for 17 years and having access to concessions covering 10% of Riauâ€™s landmass, the company still relies on pulping tropical forests,â€ said Nazir Foead. â€œAfter their devastating deforestation of Riau in Sumatra, the company now appears to be developing their next epicenter of deforestation on the island of Borneo.â€
â€œWWF calls on APRIL to stop pulping tropical forests, solve social conflicts and restore the forests and peatlands it has destroyed,â€ said Aditya Bayunanda, GFTN and pulp & paper manager of WWF Indonesia, â€œand calls on companies to avoid being associated with the business practices of APRIL and its associated companies.â€
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