Destruction of Indonesia’s peatland forests and orangutan habitat continues despite moratorium on deforestation

Press release - 27 September, 2012
27 September 2012, Ketapang, Indonesia: Environmental activists have proof that Indonesia’s peatland forests, habitat for endangered orangutans, continue to be destroyed after the discovery this morning of fresh forest clearing by a plantation company who supply wood to Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), in Kuala Labai, West Kalimantan.

Greenpeace Indonesia and WALHI (Indonesian Environmental Forum) activists, along with Robi, lead singer of famous Balinese grunge band, Navicula, came across the fresh clearing in the middle of a plantation run by PT Asia Tani Persada.

 “We want to see APP walk the talk and honour their commitment to stop destroying forests. The destruction we have seen today in one of their supplier’s concessions flies in the face of this commitment. APP must control their suppliers if they want the market to believe them”, said Zulfahmi, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner.

 Greenpeace Indonesia, WALHI, along with other Indonesian environmental organizations including The Indigenous People’s Alliance (AMAN) and Save Our Borneo, as well as Navicula, have for the past 2 weeks been monitoring deforestation on the Tigers’ Eyes Tour across the provinces of South, Central and West Kalimantan.

 In 1985 Kalimantan had 39.9 million hectares of intact forest, which had dropped to 25.5 million hectares by 2010. In just 25 years over a third, 14.5 million hectares, of Kalimantan’s intact forests, including fragile peatland ecosystems, were destroyed.

 “Despite Indonesia’s Moratorium on Deforestation, we have seen on our tour of Kalimantan that the destruction of intact forests and peatland continues. Indonesia’s Government must urgently strengthen the moratorium by including a review of existing concessions, like PT Asia Tani Persada’s, and all peatland, as well as making the moratorium results-based, rather than limited to is current two-year term”, said Anton P. Widjaya, WALHI West Kalimantan Executive Director.

Widjaya says that forest destruction by PT Asia Tani Persada not only increases damage to the fragile peatland ecosystem, it also creates the potential for social conflict with the community through land disputes and competition for scarce water resources.

The Tigers’ Eyes Tour of Kalimantan is the second part of a tour of Indonesia, which began this time last year in Sumatra, to show the real condition of the nation’s forests. Greenpeace is partnering with other Indonesian civil society organizations concerned with the impacts of deforestation, to show that forests continue to be destroyed for products like tissue paper, packaging, palm oil and coal, despite the moratorium on deforestation that President Yudhoyono decreed in May 2011. We are also inviting the public to help protect forests by becoming ‘Tigers’ Eyes’ and reporting what they see in the forests.

 

ENDS

Contacts:

Bustar Maitar, Head of Indonesia Forest Campaign, Greenpeace +62 813 44 666 135
Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya, Media Team Leader, Greenpeace Indonesia, +62 8111 805 394
Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline: +31 (0)20 718 24 70
Press Desk Email:
For photo requests contact the Picture Desk Hotline +31 (0) 20718 2471

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