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Jakarta, Indonesia – A critically endangered Sumatran tiger trapped in a snare in a pulp concession operated bay Sinar Mas Group’s Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) – one of the world’s biggest paper producers – has died after days without access to food and water. PT Arara Abadi, the concession where the tiger was found, has recorded one of the highest numbers of fires among all Indonesian plantation concessions in recent years [1]. 

The large-scale forest clearance and peatland drainage by the plantation sector are the root causes of Indonesia’s uncontrolled fires that have been driving an annual health crisis across the region. This destruction has trashed the natural habitat of tigers and left them trapped in what is left of their forest homes. 

“Rapid deforestation and habitat loss in biodiversity-rich countries mean wild species like tigers are forced into closer contact with humans and end up getting killed. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought yet more evidence that various outbreaks of diseases have links to deforestation, it is vital to stop forest destruction to save our climate, our wildlife, our health and our future”,” said Kiki Taufik, Global Head of the Indonesia forests campaign at Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The dead male tiger, estimated to be between one and two years old, was wounded in its right front leg which most likely led to an infection, according to Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency Center (BKSDA), which carried an autopsy. A pig carcass was found near snare, indicating that the tiger might have been targeted by poachers. So far this year, at least two other Sumatran tigers of less than 600 remaining in the wild, were caught in traps in pulp concessions. One of them was rescued on time and received medical treatment immediately. 

“It was almost a decade ago that Greenpeace footage showed the slow death of a tiger trapped in a snare in an APP concession. This is a repeat of a dark history for the company. APP remains associated with the clearing and burning of forests that are critical habitat for tigers, despite promising to stop deforestation. The few remaining tiger strongholds must be completely off industry limits if we want to save Indonesia’s most iconic animal species,” said Taufik. 

In 2013 APP committed to end its role in deforestation and introduced new conservation commitments. However, recent Greenpeace analysis shows that an area larger than Singapore burned in a concession linked to the group between 2015 and 2018. The group is still responsible for the destruction of huge areas of forests and peatlands home to tigers, elephants and orangutans, as well as numerous human rights violations in Sumatra. Last week, over 90 local and international NGOs called on business partners of APP to suspend deals with the company until the company had made “radical changes” across its business.

The Sumatran tiger has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2008 due to poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict. 

Now more than ever Indonesia’s government needs to strengthen regulations to protect forests and peatlands, while companies must prove their supply chains are clean or ditch high-risk commodities altogether.

Notes to the Editor

[1] The total land burned in PT Arara Abadi from Greenpeace analysis 2015 – 2019 is approximately 12200 ha. Last updates are published

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Contact:

Sol Gosetti, International Communications Coordinator, Indonesia Forest campaign
E: [email protected] M: +44 (0) 7807352020