Greenpeace slams APP/Sinar Mas over links to deforestation, ends all engagement with company

Greenpeace calls on customers to cancel contracts with market leader

Source: Greenpeace


Jakarta, Indonesia – Asia Pulp & Paper, Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper company, is still linked to forest destruction for pulp, new mapping analysis by Greenpeace International has revealed. Almost 8,000 ha of forest and peatland has been cleared since 2013 in two concessions which are, through ownership, linked to APP and its parent company the Sinar Mas Group.

Greenpeace International has put these allegations to APP/Sinar Mas. The group failed to provide a credible response or to take meaningful action. As a result, Greenpeace has ended all further engagement with APP/Sinar Mas.

“APP became the world’s most notorious pulp and paper company after years of forest destruction and links to human rights abuses. In 2013 the company committed to end its role in deforestation and introduced new conservation commitments. Progress since then has been mixed and it is now in jeopardy due to links to ongoing rainforest destruction,” said Kiki Taufik, Global Head of the Indonesia forests campaign at Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

In March 2013, APP bowed to pressure from NGOs and its customers and adopted a Forest Conservation Policy (FCP). APP committed to end forest clearance within its own and suppliers’ concessions, protect remaining forests in these areas, improve management of peatland and work with communities to resolve social conflicts.

For the past five years, Greenpeace has been advising and inputting into APP’s FCP implementation process. During that time, APP has made some progress within its own operations, through implementing the High Carbon Stock Approach, conducting High Conservation Value studies and a programme to dam drainage canals in peatlands. APP claims that more than half a million hectares of forest has been conserved within its concessions and those of its suppliers, although serious issues  remain, including forest clearance and illegal logging by third parties.

New analysis by Greenpeace International of satellite imagery and company deeds indicates that companies connected with APP/Sinar Mas have cleared almost 8,000 hectares of forest and peatland over this same time period.

Analysis of official company deeds clearly indicates that APP/Sinar Mas have undeclared connections to a number of other pulpwood companies, including many ‘independent’ suppliers to APP.  These companies are in fact owned by employees of Sinar Mas Group companies, including a number of members of the Widjaja family, through a network of holding companies.

One pulpwood company, PT Muara Sungai Landak (PT MSL) in West Kalimantan, is owned by two employees of APP’s sister company Sinar Mas Forestry. Nearly 3,000 ha of forest and peatland has been cleared in PT MSL since 2013.

Meanwhile, a Sinar Mas-branded mining company, Golden Energy and Resource (GEAR) has openly admitted to owning a 265,095 ha pulpwood concession, PT Hutan Rindang Banua (PT HRB), located in South Kalimantan. Satellite analysis of PT HRB suggests nearly 5,000 hectares of forest have been cleared since 2013. [5]

“This new evidence tells us that APP/Sinar Mas is not genuinely serious about stopping deforestation in Indonesia. The group must immediately come clean about all its ownership links to companies with concessions, stop the bulldozers and restore what was destroyed. It’s only this action that can save APP/Sinar Mas from further campaigns, and contract cancellations by customers, ” said Kiki.

All current customers and investors of APP/Sinar Mas should demand they come clean about which companies they have ownership or any association with, and immediately end all deforestation by these or other companies within or connected to the Sinar Mas Group.  If APP and the Sinar Mas Group do not immediately comply, then all customers should cancel contracts and walk away.

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