Many people are often surprised when I tell them that there are two giant pulp and paper companies in Indonesia. One , Asia Pulp & Paper, has a name and story known by many, especially its decision to turn off its chainsaws last year. The other, however, is largely an unknown name, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) . And its story of rainforest destruction is only starting to get told.
But Greenpeace has been working to get APRIL to stop turning Indonesia’s dwindling natural rainforests into paper for years now. And APRIL is finally starting to squirm.
Yesterday, only a couple of weeks after the World Business Council on Sustainable Development put APRIL on probation, APRIL gathered together a crowd so everyone could watch as it attempted to paint itself green. APRIL announced a so-called “Sustainable Forest Management Policy”.
However this policy is not fooling anyone, especially not Greenpeace and all of you.
APRIL’s policy announcement is essentially a license to continue forest destruction. A glaring weakness is that it would allow its current suppliers to continue to destroy forest and peatlands for nearly a year, and give it another six more years until it would have to stop using rainforest fiber to make pulp and paper.
If APRIL were serious about cutting forest destruction from their supply chains then it would look to more progressive players in the forestry sector that have put an immediate moratorium on all forest clearance and peatland development.
If APRIL were serious it would also protect all natural forests and other conservation values in its supplier concessions.
And lastly if APRIL were serious, its sustainability commitments would apply to the parent company of APRIL, the Royal Golden Eagle Group (RGE) in order to address deforestation by other companies in the Group (for instance, Asian Agri and Toba Pulp Lestari)
Greenpeace has no choice but to continue to expose APRIL’s rainforest destruction masked in desperate measures to appease a growing demand for sustainable forestry products.
APRIL is the single largest driver of deforestation for pulp and paper in Indonesia and its “Sustainable Forest Management Policy” does not change that.