Greenpeace Response to Sinar Mas “Verification Exercise”

Media release - August 10, 2010
Jakarta, Indonesia, August 10th 2010 -- Greenpeace today responded to notorious rainforest destroyer Sinar Mas' self-styled 'verification exercise':

"The Sinar Mas audit largely confirms Greenpeace findings. It shows that Sinar Mas has been clearing forests and peat lands.  Also it confirms that the company has been operating without the necessary permits and has been clearing deep peat illegally,” said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Team Leader.

"The Sinar Mas spin is a poor attempt at brand protection that does nothing to challenge Greenpeace's findings.  We've repeatedly shown that Sinar Mas says one thing and does another. They destroy peatland and call it water management. They clear rainforests and say that they're developing degraded land," he added.

"But instead of acting on our findings, which conclusively prove Sinar Mas destroys rainforests and peatlands, they're trying to greenwash their image," added Maitar said.

Between 2007 and July 2010 (1), Greenpeace International released a series of reports exposing the impact of the Sinar Mas Group's pulp, paper and oil palm divisions on climate, forests, peatlands and tiger and orangutan habitats.

Greenpeace's investigations, as recent as July 2010, have shown Sinar Mas continues to clear mapped forest and peatland, breaching its own company policy even while this current audit was underway.

Sinar Mas recently announced plans to expand its current oil palm plantation area (of 430,000 hectares by another 100,000 ha in Kalimantan (2). While claiming to expand only on 'degraded lands', (3) the reality of the last years has shown that it relentlessly destroys forests, including areas critical for orangutan survival and carbon-rich peatlands.  As a result, key corporate customers, including Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft, Carrefour and many others, have now stopped buying from Sinar Mas (4).

The Indonesian Government must stop groups like Sinar Mas wrecking forests and driving climate change. The Indonesian Government must ensure the proposed moratorium includes a halt to all forest clearance, including clearance within existing concessions, and ensures immediate protection of all peatlands. And corporate consumers must ensure they are not funding this destruction by dropping Sinar Mas' products from their shelves and supply chains.

Contacts:

In Jakarta, Indonesia:
Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest team leader, tel: +62 813 446 66 135

In US:
Rolf Skar, senior orest campaigner: 415.533.2888

Photos and video available:
Emma Stoner, Greenpeace International picture desk, +44 7554 934 750
Lucy Campbell Jackson, Greenpeace International video desk +31 634 738 790

Notes to editors:

(1) http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/asia-pacific/Palm-oil-reports/

(2) Brown, K (2010) 'Palm oil chief defends environmental record' Financial Times, London, 19 July 2010 and Creagh, Sunanda (2010) 'SMART eyes palm oil expansion in Kalimantan' Reuters 5 August 2010

(3) 'Palm oil chief defends environmental record' Financial Times,
London, 19 July 2010

(4) Deutsch, A (2010) 'Greenpeace fires salvo over paper producer'
Financial Times, London. 5 July 2010