Major Breakthrough in Protection for Indonesia’s Remaining Rainforests

For Immediate Release

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Major Breakthrough in Protection for Indonesia’s Remaining Rainforests

Jakarta, Indonesia - Greenpeace hailed today’s commitment from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to end deforestation as a major breakthrough in efforts to save Indonesia’s rainforests, after a decade of public pressure and recent negotiations with Greenpeace.

APP, one of the world’s largest producers of paper and packaging, has published a new ‘Forest Conservation Policy’ which, if implemented, could spell the end of its long and controversial history of rainforest destruction.

“We commend APP for making this commitment to end deforestation, but it’s what happens in the forest that counts and we will be monitoring progress closely. If APP fully implements its new policies it will mark a dramatic change in direction, after years of deforestation in Indonesia,” said Bustar Maitar, Head of Greenpeace’s Forest Campaign in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s rainforests are a vital habitat for endangered species including the Sumatran tiger and home to thousands of forest communities. The Indonesian government has identified the pulp and paper sector as a lead driver of deforestation in Indonesia, along with the palm oil sector.

This move by APP is the result of years of pressure from Indonesian and international NGOs challenging its role in large-scale rainforest clearance, including vital wildlife habitat and areas claimed by local communities. Greenpeace’s campaign to transform Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector has seen ground-breaking investigations of APP’s operations and high profile campaigns around the world exposing the global brands whose paper and packaging is supplied from APP. 

Many global brands suspended contracts with APP and introduced policies removing deforestation from their supply chains after a wave of public pressure inspired by Greenpeace. Over 100 companies have taken action, including Adidas, Kraft, Mattel, Hasbro, Nestlé, Carrefour, Staples and Unilever.

APP’s new commitment comes at a crucialtime for Indonesia’s forests. The two-year moratorium on deforestation decreed by President Yudhoyono in 2011 expires in May this year.

“We urge Indonesia’s government to use the momentum of APP’s move to strengthen and extend the moratorium, starting with a review of all existing forest concessions. As a matter of urgency, the government should improve enforcement of forestry laws to help companies like APP implement their conservation policies. Only concerted action from government, industry and Indonesian civil society can finally turn the tide of extinction facing Sumatra’s tigers,” said Maitar.

APP, part of the Sinar Mas group, is one of just two global pulp and paper producers in Indonesia that has relied on rainforest fibre for its products used by household brands across the world. Greenpeace has today written to the CEO of APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International), Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper producer, to ask when his company plans to make a similar commitment to end deforestation.

Contacts:                                    
Bustar Maitar, Head of Greenpeace’s Forest Campaign in Indonesia (in Jakarta)
bmaitar@greenpeace.org, tel: +62 81344666135

Martin Baker, Communications for Greenpeace Forests – Indonesia (in Jakarta)
mbaker@greenpeace.org, tel: +62 81315829513

Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya, Comms Team Leader, Greenpeace Indonesia (in Jakarta)
hikmat.suriatanwijaya@greenpeace.org, tel: +62 8111805394

Pictures/video available
Alex Yallop (Photo), Maarten van Rouveroy (Video)

Notes to editors:

1.Largely as a result of the rapid expansion of the palm oil and pulp and paper sector into Indonesia’s rainforests, by 2005 Indonesia ranked as the world’s third-highest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Loss of its forest habitat to pulp and palm oil concessions has driven endangered wildlife species such as Sumatran tiger and the orangutan closer to extinction.

In 2010, following earlier Greenpeace campaigns the palm oil division of the Sinar Mas group (GAR) agreed to a new Forest Conservation Policy to end any further rainforest clearance, including development of peatland.

APP and APRIL together account for approximately 80% of Indonesian pulp production. These companies are currently the only large-scale producers of pulp using rainforest fibre. The other pulp companies either use plantation acacia only, or produce very small volumes of pulp.

2. A copy of Greenpeace’s letter to APRIL is available here

Summary of APP’s Forest Conservation Policy commitments

·         An end to further development of any forested land, including peat forests.

·         Best practice peatland management at landscape level to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

·         New protocols to ensure the principle of free prior and informed consent is implemented in any new plantation development, and for conflict resolution with communities affected by current operations.

·         Monitoring of commitments by The Forest Trust, with independent observers from the NGO community.

·         Additional measures to support responsible forest management throughout APP’s global supply chain.

Summary of Greenpeace’s recent campaign on APP

Since the launch of our campaign more than 100 major national and international companies have broken ties with APP. These include Adidas, Danone, Delhaize, Hasbro, ING, Kraft, Lego, Mattel, Mondi, Montblanc, Nestlé, Tesco ( in UK), Unilever, and Xerox.

July 2010 – Publication of ‘Pulping the Planet’, revealing that major companies, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Tesco, are buying from APP and showing how APP is contributing to the destruction of tiger habitat in Sumatra.

July 2010 – Publication of ‘Empires of Destruction’, exposing Sinar Mas group-wide expansion ambitions covering over a million hectares of Indonesia’s rainforest and peatlands, including wildlife habitat.

November 2010 – Publication of ‘Protection Money’, which uncovers huge expansion ambitions by government and the pulp sector that threatens millions of hectares of Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands.

June 2011 –  Publication of ‘Toying with Destruction’ report, which shows that major toy companies are buying packaging from APP that contains rainforest fibre. Greenpeace launches a global campaign against Mattel and asks Hasbro, Disney and Lego to stop buying packaging from APP and commit to making their supply chains deforestation-free.

October 2011 – Mattel cancels its contracts with APP and instructs its suppliers to avoid wood fibre from controversial sources, including companies “that are known to be involved in deforestation”.

November 2011 – Hasbro cancels contracts with APP.

November 2011 – Greenpeace China releases "The Disappearing Rainforest ", showing that the tropical natural forests of the mountain eco-regions of central Hainan were reduced by approximately 1/4 between 2001 and 2010. Half of this reduction was caused by the expansion of pulp plantations of APP

March 2012 – Release of ‘The Ramin Trail’ report showing that ramin trees, a protected species under international CITES legislation, had been illegally traded to APP’s main pulp mill.

March 2012 – National Geographic, Xerox and Mondi confirm that they will not buy from APP.

April 2012 – Danone cancels contracts with APP and commits to develop new policies to tackle deforestation. The world's largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norway Pension Fund, sells its stake in APP's Indah Kiat paper mill. Soon after, Skagen Funds, Indah Kiat's 3rd largest foreign investor sells its stake in the APP pulp mill.

May 2012 –  APP's Indah Kiat largest foreign investor, Mackenzie Financial, sells its stake, after  Greenpeace Canada reveals that the investment giant has a $24 million stake in the company.

May 2012 – Greenpeace International releases the ‘Junking the Jungle’ report and reveals that KFC packaging, bought from APP, contains rainforest fibre. Launch of global campaign to get KFC and its parent company, Yum! to stop buying from APP and make its supply chain deforestation free.

July 2012 – KFC Indonesia cancels contract with APP

October 2012 – KFC UK and Ireland cancels contract with APP

5 February 2013 – APP commits to end all further rainforest clearance, including peatland forests.

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