Hundreds of tiger-suited Greenpeace demonstrators at Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry urge action against APP, which they claim trades in CITES-protected ramin, destroys tiger habitat through clearing peatland forest

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlnds , April 18, 2012 (press release) – Hundreds of homeless Sumatran tigers gathered in front of Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry this morning to urge Minister Zulkifli Hasan to take action against Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) after a Greenpeace investigation found ramin at their Indah Kiat Perawang pulp mill. (1) Greenpeace delivered its investigative report about APP to the Ministry of Forestry and the national police on 1 March.

Tiger-suited Greenpeace activists and supporters, representing the less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, stood in front of the huge Forestry Ministry building urging action to save their dwindling forest habitat. The peatland forest that companies like APP are destroying for disposable products like tissue paper is crucial habitat for many species that are protected under Indonesian and international law, including the Sumatran tiger and ramin.

“Destruction of Indonesia’s peatland forests has driven the Sumatran tiger to the brink of extinction. Every year human-tiger conflict has increased as tigers search for food in villages because their habitat is being destroyed by companies like APP”, said Zulfahmi, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner.

The trade in ramin, which only grows in carbon-rich peatland, has been strictly regulated since 2001 under Indonesian law and international CITES regulations. Government maps show that about 800,000 hectares (28%) of Sumatra’s peatland forest was cleared between 2003 and 2009. Approximately 22% of the clearing took place in areas that are currently allocated to APP timber suppliers.

APP’s international trade in paper products is driving at least two CITES-protected species (Sumatran tigers and ramin) closer to extinction through the indiscriminate clearance of their Sumatran peatland forest habitat. This rainforest clearance, to feed its global paper empire, is clearly undermining the conservation objectives of CITES.

According to the Director General of Indonesia’s Conservation and Forest Protection Agency (PHKA) at least 40 Sumatran tigers died during 2011 (2).

“We submitted our report of protected ramin found in APP’s Indah Kiat mill to the Ministry of Forestry on 1 March and the delay has given APP the opportunity to hide the evidence. We urge Forest Minister Zulkifli Hasan to urgently publish the results of their investigation, confiscate the illegal APP ramin and enforce the law against APP”, said Zulfahmi.

Greenpeace supports all government efforts to protect Indonesia’s remaining peatland and natural forest, to ensure Indonesia’s rich forests and all the life that depends on them are preserved for future generations of Indonesians.

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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