Submitted: The Two Sides Team February 12, 2013
WWF welcomed the announcement that the Sinar Mas Groups Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) have stopped clearing Indonesias tropical forests and peatlands to allow an assessment of their conservation and carbon values.
February 7 2013
Jakarta – WWF welcomed the announcement that the Sinar Mas Groups Asia Pulp &
Paper (APP) have stopped clearing Indonesias tropical forests and
peatlands to allow an assessment of their conservation and carbon
values. But the conservation organization urged paper buyers to wait for
confirmation of the claims through independent monitoring by civil
society before doing business with APP.
APP today committed to most of WWFs calls. If the company follows
through on this, it could be great news for Indonesias forests,
biodiversity and citizens, said Nazir Foead, Conservation Director of
Unfortunately, APP has a long history of making commitments to WWF,
customers and other stakeholders that it has failed to live up to. We
hope this time the company does what it promised. WWF plans to
independently monitor APPs wood sourcing and forestry activities for
compliance with its commitments and regularly update stakeholders on the
findings, Foead added.
APP runs two of the worlds largest pulp mills on Sumatra, where it
produces the pulp for the toilet paper, tissue, copy paper and packaging
that it sells worldwide. The company and its wood suppliers are
responsible for clearing more than 2 million hectares of rain forest on
the island since beginning operations in 1984, an analysis by the NGO
coalition Eyes on the Forest found.
WWF hopes that APPs new commitments will do more than just stop its
own bulldozers, including protecting the natural forests in its
concessions from all illegal activities and mitigating the long-term
negative impacts its practices have had on all the peat lands, forests,
biodiversity and local people in Sumatra and Borneo for which these
commitments have come too late, Foead added.
WWF has long called on responsible businesses to avoid sourcing from
APP and until there is truly independent confirmation that APP has
stopped draining peat soils and pulping tropical forests with high
conservation value, we continue to urge paper buyers to adopt a wait for
proof stance, said Aditya Bayunanda, GFTN and pulp & paper manager
of WWF Indonesia.
Mr Teguh Widjaya, the patriarch of the familys pulp and paper business,
oversaw the announcement today that no member of his APP group
operating in Indonesia or China will accept any tropical timber felled
in Indonesia after 31 January 2013 until company consultants have
completed a full high conservation value and a high carbon stock
assessment of their forest concessions.
However, the company inserted a loophole in the commitment saying that
for an indefinite period of time APP mills would accept trees felled
before 31 January.
As a sign of good faith and the first demonstrable milestone, WWF calls
on APP to have moved the supply of already-cut tropical timber its
suppliers cleared before the self-imposed 31 January 2013 moratorium by 5
May 2013, the due date of its next quarterly forest policy report.
A fully implemented moratorium on pulping forests with high conservation
and high carbon value would have a profound impact on Indonesias
biodiversity, as well as on Indonesias carbon emissions. WWF urges all
of the countrys pulp producers to stop using tropical forests.