“Untouchable god” of logging wins Golden Chainsaw Award

Feature story - April 21, 2006
Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI) has won the “Golden Chainsaw Award” for the destruction of the Earth’s remaining ancient forests.

A representative for the company was presented with a golden chainsaw award for forest destruction.

Greenpeace activists today held a peacful protest demonstrating against destructive logging practices at the Headquarters of Kayu Lapis Indonesia in Jakarta.

Greenpeace activists today held a peacful protest demonstrating against destructive logging practices at the Headquarters of Kayu Lapis Indonesia in Jakarta.

Greenpeace activists today held a peacful protest demonstrating against destructive logging practices at the Headquarters of Kayu Lapis Indonesia in Jakarta.

Greenpeace activists today held a peacful protest demonstrating against destructive logging practices at the Headquarters of Kayu Lapis Indonesia in Jakarta.

Greenpeace today awarded Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI) the "Golden Chainsaw Award" a disreputable honour given to companies and individuals responsible for the destruction of the Earth's remaining ancient forests.  Greenpeace activists occupied the front premises of KLI headquarters in Jakarta and delivered a golden chainsaw to the company, which has the largest logging operations in Indonesia's last ancient forests in Papua.

Greenpeace also called on the Indonesian government to investigate KLI's logging operations.

"Greenpeace has submitted evidence to the Ministry of Forestry so that it can investigate KLI for its destructive and suspicious logging operations in Papua. It is time for the Indonesian government to act against the ongoing destruction of our forests," said Hapsoro, Forest Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

KLI, one of the untouchable industrial tiga dewa (three gods) in the country, has a well-documented history of environmental abuses. It owns the largest logging concession in Papua with a total of 1.4 million hectares but was caught buying illegal logs in 2003 and was the target of government illegal logging operations in 2005 due to significant amount of timber from untraceable sources.  In recent years, timber from dubious untraceable sources played a significant role in the operation of  KLI's Henrison Iriana mill in Sorong, Papua, with such sources supplying 53% of its timber in 2002, 74% in 2003 and 70% in 2004. (1)

Greenpeace investigations in 2006 also discovered that PT Intimpura, another KLI subsidiary in Papua, was unlawfully logging within the 50 metre buffer zones of small waterways, which is prohibited by forestry regulations. Other KLI abuses documented by Greenpeace include cheating the communities of Sayosa and Kemtuk (both in Papua) by not paying for logs it felled despite contractual agreements with the said communities.

KLI exports most of its products to companies in the US, Japan, Canada and Netherlands. In the US and Canada, their plywood is supplied to companies such as Argo Fine Imports (US), North Pacific (US), the Overseas Hardwoods Company (US), CANUSA Wood Products (Canada) and Okaply (Canada).

Greenpeace USA forest campaigner, Ginger Cassady, said Greenpeace will be asking Argo Fine Imports to stop importing timber from KLI.  "Argo is the largest US importer of Kayu Lapis' timber products, taking on average 10 per cent of their timber exports every year," she said.  "We think it is irresponsible for Argo to continue to buy timber that has been destructively logged in Indonesia's forests."

In Japan, major trading houses like Sojitz, Sumisho & Mitsuibussan Kenzai Co and Toyo Materia Co, are among KLI's clients. KLI's plywood is sold in Europe by traders like Oldenboom and PontMeyer in the Netherlands.

Deforestation rates in Indonesia are among the highest in the world with at least 1.9 million hectares of forest destroyed every year for the last five years (2), equivalent to six football fields a minute.  In total, Indonesia has already lost more than 72% of its large intact ancient forest areas due to illegal and destructive logging.  Last week, Greenpeace and Forest Watch Indonesia also revealed that 11.6 million hectares or 25% of the forests in Papua have already been given out as concessions.

"The government must stop this wanton plunder of Indonesia's remaining forests through a moratorium of all logging operations in the country, starting in Papua. Otherwise, all of our forests will be gone soon. Governments of countries which import timber from Indonesia must also put in place strict legislation to prevent timber from illegal and destructive sources from entering their borders," said Hapsoro.

Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, arrived yesterday in Jakarta after sailing into Papua on a mission to protect the Paradise Forests (3) from illegal and destructive logging.  Greenpeace also launched a new project in Papua to set the stage for eco-enterprises which will help protect what is left of the largest intact, pristine forest in the region. On the other side of the island, a Global Forest Rescue Station was set up in the forests of Papua New Guinea, where volunteers are currently working with landowners and other environment groups to protect the forests from illegal and destructive logging.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future. It is committed to protecting the world's last ancient forests and the people and animals that depend upon them.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Hapsoro, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +62 8121 108 256

Nabiha Shahab, Communications Officer, +62 8131 421 3432

1)Forest Crime File: Kayu Lapis Indonesia - the untouchable God of Indonesian ancient forest destruction 2)FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 3)The Paradise Forests is Asia-Pacific's last remaining intact ancient forest, stretching from Southeast Asia, across the islands of Indonesia and towards Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. Visit www.greenpeace.or.id to download the Forest Crime File: Kayu Lapis Indonesia

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