Global brands send clear message to Sinar Mas - stop pulping the planet!

New report reveals ongoing destruction of rainforests

Feature story - July 9, 2010
Notorious rainforest destroyer, Sinar Mas continues to clear thousands of hectares of precious rainforests and, with an ever growing global demand for cheap pulp and paper products, it is unlikely to stop. If left unchecked, Sinar Mas is set to undermine Indonesia’s plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change.

Bukit Tigapuluh. Spanning over half a million hectares, the Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape in Central Sumatra is one of the last refuges for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger.

Greenpeace u new report ndermine Indonesia's plans for cuSinar Massr pulp and paper arm, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), is threatening the existence of critically endangered tigers and the livelihoods of local indigenous communities to feed its pulp mills and its aggressive expansion into markets like China, Canada and Australia.

Using analysis from the Indonesian government and confidential company maps and data, as well as on-the-ground investigations, the report is already creating a big reaction in the marketplace.

Read Report - How Sinar mas is pulping the planet

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On Tuesday, global supermarket chain, Carrefour, pledged that it would stop buying some paper products from APP. Meanwhile, a letter from Kraft Foods to Sinar Mas obtained by the Jakarta Globe said that the conglomerate would begin "shifting (its) sourcing away... until the Sinar Mas group clearly demonstrates its entities apply with local laws and are able to source pulp and paper materials sustainably.

Moratorium set to be undermined

The new investigation also highlights how President Yudhoyono's new commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from deforestation under a USD $1 billion deal with Norway will be undermined if the proposed moratorium does not cover all the forest and peatlands currently slated for destruction. 

Millions of forests under Sinar Mas control are not part of the deal with Norway.  This loophole will undermine all attempts to reduce Indonesia's emissions.  President Yudhoyono must act immediately by implementing a moratorium on all forest destruction and ensure the protection of peatlands.  Only then will he be able to really reduce Indonesia destruct

Sustainability claims exposed

Despite repeated promises that it is pursuing a "path toward sustainability" and that it would only use plantation trees for its pulp by 2009, APP is still using rainforests to feed two of its paper mills in Sumatra. Sinar Mas has large areas of intact rainforest under concession waiting to be cleared, including areas around Bukit Tigapuluh National Park which is a vitally important habitat for the highly endangered Sumatran tiger.

Urgent action needed

To stop the rampant destruction of these last remaining rainforests and habitats, two things need to happen. Companies with Sinar Mas (pulp or palm oil) contracts must drop them until Sinar Mas demonstrably implement a zero-deforestation policy and protect all peatlands on their concessions and second, the moratorium recently promised  by President Yundoyono needs to be extended to cover existing concessions that are currently slated for destruction by Sinar Mas and other companies. Only with such a blanket halt on deforestation can the problems facing Indonesia's rainforests really be tackled.

Read report - How Sinar Mas is pulping the planet

A new investigative report from Greenpeace, 'How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet', shows how major brands like Walmart, Auchan and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are fueling climate change and pushing Sumatran tigers and orang-utans towards the brink of extinction.