APP vows not to break Chinese laws

Press release - 2005-08-12
Global paper and pulp giant Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) vows to abide by Chinese regulation after being criticized by Greenpeace and the Chinese government for its illegal logging practices in China. Greenpeace welcomes APP’s commitment, but urges the company to live up to its promise.

In November 2004, Greenpeace exposed that APP had carried out illegal logging in Yunnan province. An official investigation by State Forestry Administration later confirmed Greenpeace's report, and concluded that APP had logged 638 hectares of forest, equivalent to 1580 football fields, without permission. Three months ago, Greenpeace researchers uncovered similar illegal practices in APP's operation in Hainan province.

APP has refused to admit publicly for its illegal practices in China. However, in a letter sent to State Forestry Administration in May 2005, APP vows that it will "operate legally according to Chinese regulations and policies." (1).

Greenpeace China campaigner Sze Pang Cheung welcomes APP's commitment, "As companies are required to operate legally, APP's commitment is equivalent to admitting they have broken Chinese laws. We urge the Chinese government to monitor APP's operations, and make sure it is not giving an empty promise."

APP is the second largest paper company in Asia, and an industry leader in China. The Indonesian-based company has been criticized by environmental groups for its destructive and illegal logging practices in other Asian countries, including Indonesia. Greenpeace has expressed concern about the demand for raw timber of APPs pulp mills in China being unable to be serviced by current plantation capacity.

"APP must realize that it should respect national laws wherever it operates, otherwise it is inviting criticisms and pressure," said Sze Pang Cheung. "APP should make their promise public and apologise for breaking the law in the first place."

Notes:

1- APP’s letter to State Forestry Administration was first quoted in Beijing News, a major Beijing newspaper, on 4 Aug 2005.

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