Greenpeace accuses APP of violating laws protecting ramin, claims it has collected evidence identifying ramin logs with other rainforest species at Indah Kiat Perawang pulp mill

JAKARTA, Indonesia , February 29, 2012 (press release) – Greenpeace this morning handed evidence to the Ministry of Forestry and Indonesia’s CITES Secretariat from a year-long investigation, showing that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is systematically violating Indonesia’s laws protecting ramin, an internationally protected tree species.[ref CITES]

Throughout 2011, many visits were made to APP’s Indah Kiat Perawang mill, Indonesia’s largest pulp mill, where numerous ramin logs were identified, mixed in with other rainforest species waiting to be pulped. Samples were taken from 46 of these logs and were confirmed to be ramin by an internationally recognised expert.

“Greenpeace has caught Asia Pulp and Paper red-handed – this investigation shows its main pulp mill is regularly riddled with illegal ramin. This makes a mockery of their public claim to have a ‘zero tolerance’ for illegal timber,” said Bustar Maitar, Head of Greenpeace’s Global Forest Network for Indonesia .

Greenpeace mapping analysis shows that since the logging of ramin was banned in 2001, at least 180,000 hectares of Sumatran peat swamp forests have been cleared in concessions now controlled by APP - an area more than twice the size of Jakarta.

This destruction of ramin habitat is endemic across Indonesia’s pulp and paper industry sector. Neither APP or APRIL, the two largest companies in this sector, have made commitments to stop clearance of these areas.

These forests are a critical habitat for ramin, as well as endangered species including the Sumatran tiger with only 400 remaining in the wild.

As part of the investigation, major companies have been implicated in APP’s international rainforest scandal. Independent testing and supply chain research into paper products from companies including Xerox, National Geographic and Danone show that they contain Indonesian rainforest fibre. These products were manufactured using paper from by APP mills supplied from by Indah Kiat Perawang, the same mill implicated in APP’s illegal ramin scandal.

“APP is undermining the rule of law in Indonesia. Greenpeace is calling on the Government to immediately seize all illegal ramin in APP’s operations in Indonesia. The evidence has been provided to authorities to assist in their efforts to improve governance in the forest sector. Any company buying from APP should distance themselves from this illegal rainforest scandal and stop buying from them until they clean up their act,” Added Bustar.

“Greenpeace supports a ban on further clearance of peat swamp forests, as proposed in an official report on ramin protection by the Indonesian government department that is responsible for protecting ramin. APP’s sister company, the palm oil company GAR, is already implementing a policy to end deforestation, including ending peat swamp forest clearance,” said Zulfahmi, Forest Campaign Manager for Greenpeace in Indonesia.

The evidence that has been compiled by Greenpeace has been handed to the Ministry of Forestry and will also be passed to the police in Indonesia.

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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace.

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