Greenpeace exposes Sinar Mas’s illegal deforestation activities; demands suspension of all SM operations in Indonesia’s forests

Greenpeace today presented new evidence exposing illegal forest clearing by Sinar Mas group in Kalimantan and has called on Indonesian President to order the suspension of all its operations. Sinar Mas is already notorious for its involvement in illegal forest clearance through its pulp and paper subsidiary Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

Greenpeace's new report (1) shows how Sinar Mas groups's palm oil operations in Kalimantan are in violation of national laws here and in breach of principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) (2) as it is cutting timber, clearing forests and draining peatland without proper environmental impacts assessments or obtaining correct permits 

Earlier this year, Gandi Sulistiyanto, one of Sinar Mas' managing directors, told Reuters that, "We should have been arrested if we had ever been involved in deforestation" (3). 

"In the light of this new evidence exposing Sinar Mas's illegal deforestation activities, Greenpeace is demanding that President Yudhoyono must suspend all Sinar Mas permits. We are also calling on all multinational companies to suspend their business and contracts with this forest and climate criminal," said Joko Arif, Greenpeace Southeast Asia's forest campaigner.

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest loss in the world.  The destruction of the country's peatlands alone accounts for 4 percent of global human induced greenhouse gas emissions (4), propelling Indonesia to become the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after the US and China (5).

"This evidence clearly shows that buying palm oil from members of the RSPO does not protect consumer companies from buying a product connected to forest destruction and climate change. The only solution is to demand a full moratorium on all forest and peat land clearance from all suppliers of palm oil," said Arif.

Greenpeace is calling on President Yudhoyono to implement an immediate moratorium on any further destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and peat lands. The President has the ideal platform to make this commitment when he attends the critical UN Copenhagen Climate Summit where forest protection to decrease global emissions will be discussed.  Greenpeace is promoting the creation of a global fund to end deforestation in countries like Indonesia and Brazil, which requires industrialized countries to invest €30 billion (45 billion US$) annually in forest protection. 

VVPR info: Contacts: Rolf Skar, Greenpeace USA, rskar@greenpeace.org, 415-533-2888 Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace USA, dkessler@greenpeace.org, 510-501-1779

Notes: Notes for editors: (1) You can access a copy of the report here: (2) Sinar Mas companies who are members of the RSPO include PT Ivo Mas Tunggal and TP Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Tbk (SMART). (3) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE52J2QW20090320 (4) Hooijer, A, M Silvius, H Wösten, H and S Page (2006) PEAT-CO2, Assessment of CO2 emissions from drained peatlands in SE Asia Delft Hydraulics report Q3943 7 December 2006 (5) WRI 2008. Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0 (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute) http://cait.wri.org For further information please see: http://www.greenpeace.org/climatedefenders Background media briefing on Indonesia’s forests and climate change is available at: www.greenpeace.org/climatedefenders/rainforests-and-climate-change

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