Greenpeace releases more evidence of Sinar Mas forest and climate crimes

Berita - 18 Desember, 2009
Greenpeace today provided further evidence of forest and climate crimes by the Sinar Mas Group and called on Indonesian President Yudhoyono to take urgent action. A new Greenpeace report shows that Sinar Mas subsidiary, Asia Pulp & Paper, has been responsible for massive deforestation in Indonesia for the past 30 years. The report ‘APP: Thirty Years of Forests Destruction’, launched in Beijing yesterday, includes testing results of APP China’s paper products confirming that they contain fibres from natural tropical forests in Indonesia.

Greenpeace activist and Orangutan gave the report to APP in Beijing, China. ‘APP: Thirty Years of Forests Destruction’ Report includes testing results of APP China’s paper products confirming that they contain fibres from natural tropical forests in Indonesia.

In October 2009, Greenpeace in China commissioned independent testing laboratory Integrated Paper Services, Inc. (IPS) to analyse fibres on five types of paper samples. The results proved that three out of five paper samples contained evidence of mixed tropical hardwood pulp originating from natural forests. Greenpeace estimates that the production process for every tonne of pulp produced by APP (Indonesia) in 2007 emitted 5.1 tonnes of CO2 due to the logging of natural forests and an estimated 29 tonnes of CO2 due to the destruction of Indonesia's carbon-rich peatland soils. In 2007, six APP (China) companies imported 309,000 tonnes of pulp from Indonesia from which they manufactured 4.39 million tonnes of paper products.

Greenpeace's report on the cost of APP China's business operation, in terms of forest destruction and climate impact, intensifies Sinar Mas Group's reputation as a forest and climate criminal. Last week Greenpeace launched the report "Illegal Forest Clearance and RSPO Greenwash" (1), to show how the Sinar Mas Group are breaking the law in their palm oil operations by clearing forest without the correct permits, and illegally draining and converting deep peat. This also breaches a number of the principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), of which some Sinar Mas companies are members. Sinar Mas is responsible for about 10% of Indonesia's palm oil production and supplies palm oil to multinationals including Carrefour, Nestlé, Kraft and Proctor & Gamble. Sinar Mas is already well known for its involvement in illegal forest clearance through its pulp and paper subsidiary Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). As a result of this report Unilever - the world's biggest buyer of palm oil - has suspended all purchases of palm oil from Sinar Mas.

"Businesses and the public are voting with their consciences and their wallets against companies like Sinar Mas, but the government has yet to do anything even though they clearly broke national laws and are undermining President Yudhoyono's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment. SBY should order an immediate review of all Sinar Mas concession permits and an investigation of their illegal forest destruction activities," said Joko Arif, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest campaigner.

 "These multinationals are taking action as they no longer want to be associated with forest destruction and climate change. This sends a clear message to the Indonesian government also that corporations and the Indonesian public alike see the need to take immediate action to save our forests."

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest loss in the world. The destruction of the country's peatlands alone accounts for 4% of global human induced greenhouse gas emissions (2), propelling Indonesia to become the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after the US and China (3). Sinar Mas is Indonesia's largest palm oil producer, involved with forest destruction in Riau, Kalimantan and Papua.

Yesterday, Spicers Papers New Zealand also issued a press release saying it expected to stop sourcing from Indonesia within the next few months despite efforts by the company to help Indonesian suppliers to improve their environmental performance.

The Greenpeace reports on SInar Mas's illegal forest clearance in Indonesia, and resulting contract cancellations, come during 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.

(1) You can access a copy of the report here: http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/press/reports/illegal-forest-clearance-and-r (2) 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 (3) 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