WWF Lobs Deforestation Charges, Asia Pulp & Paper Fights Back
The report investigates allegations made last month that two of APP’s suppliers were clearing natural forest in West Kalimantan Province on the island of Borneo and comes a day after analysis published by WWF and other environmental groups accuses APP of causing the deforestation of more than 1.4 million hectares in Sumatra, Indonesia.
In February, the controversial paper giant pledged to immediately stop clearing natural forest across its entire supply chain in Indonesia.
Last month, however, APP received a complaint from a consortium of local NGOs that two of its suppliers, PT Daya Tani Kalbar and PT Asia Tani Persada were clearing natural forest in West Kalimantan Province. APP and The Forest Trust, a nonprofit group that worked with APP on its Forest Conservation Policy, said it would look into the charges and publish the findings.
Today’s report says the investigation did find evidence of clearing natural forest — but not related to APP. It blames the deforestation on “concession lap,” where an area of forest concession serves two or more companies, and concludes the allegations made that APP suppliers were in breach of the company’s Forest Conservation Policy are unfounded.
Aida Greenbury, APP’s managing director of sustainability, says the report shows the company’s commitment to transparency and its deforestation moratorium, “despite unsubstantiated commentary by some parties” — a likely reference to WFF’s latest accusations.
Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of WWF, Forest Rescue Network Riau and Friends of the Earth Indonesia, published the April 3 report, which found APP’s forest conservation policy protects — at most — 5,000 hectares of natural forest. It says APP’s suppliers’ concessions lost 683,281 hectares of natural forest between 1985 and 2012 and its new policy “has come too late for the tropical ecosystems damaged in the suppliers’ concessions in Sumatra.”
In April 2012, Danone, Xerox and a host of other companies pledged to suspend purchases from APP following a Greenpeace exposé on the paper company’s practices. Six months later, Disney dropped the paper company from its list of suppliers.
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