Major Breakthrough in Protection for Indonesia’s Remaining Rainforests

February 5, 2013

Jakarta, Indonesia, 5 February 2013 - Greenpeace hailed today’s commitment from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to end deforestation as a major breakthrough in efforts to save Indonesia’s rainforests, after a decade of public pressure and recent negotiations with Greenpeace.

Greenpeace/Natalie Behring

APP, one of the world’s largest producers of paper and packaging, has published a new ‘Forest Conservation Policy’ which, if implemented, could spell the end of its long and controversial history of rainforest destruction.

“We commend APP for making this commitment to end deforestation, but it’s what happens in the forest that counts and we will be monitoring progress closely. If APP fully implements its new policies it will mark a dramatic change in direction, after years of deforestation in Indonesia,” said Bustar Maitar, Head of Greenpeace’s Forest Campaign in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s rainforests are a vital habitat for endangered species including the Sumatran tiger and home to thousands of forest communities. The Indonesian government has identified the pulp and paper sector as a lead driver of deforestation in Indonesia, along with the palm oil sector.

This move by APP is the result of years of pressure from Indonesian and international NGOs challenging its role in large-scale rainforest clearance, including vital wildlife habitat and areas claimed by local communities. Greenpeace’s campaign to transform Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector has seen ground-breaking investigations of APP’s operations and high profile campaigns around the world exposing the global brands whose paper and packaging is supplied from APP. 

Many global brands suspended contracts with APP and introduced policies removing deforestation from their supply chains after a wave of public pressure inspired by Greenpeace. Over 100 companies have taken action, including Adidas, Kraft, Mattel, Hasbro, Nestlé, Carrefour, Staples and Unilever.

“APP’s announcement of a ‘Forest Conservation Policy’, is a clear sign that holding U.S. companies accountable can have a transformational effect on major industries around the world. Indonesia’s irreplaceable rainforest now has a chance of being saved; Consumers and activists across America played a key part in making this happen.” Said Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA.

APP’s new commitment comes at a crucial time for Indonesia’s forests. The two-year moratorium on deforestation decreed by President Yudhoyono in 2011 expires in May this year.

“Greenpeace has been campaigning to save the rainforests of Indonesia for ten years. Today we are celebrating but our work is far from done. It’s time for U.S. companies like Yum! Brands to go beyond contract cancellations with individual suppliers, and make comprehensive commitments to rid their supply chains of rainforest destruction.” Said Rolf Skar, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaign Director.

APP, part of the Sinar Mas group, is one of just two global pulp and paper producers in Indonesia that has relied on rainforest fiber for its products, used by household brands across the world. Greenpeace has today written to the CEO of APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International), Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper producer, to ask when his company plans to make a similar commitment to end deforestation.


Rolf Skar, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaign Director (based in San Francisco)

+1 415 533 2888[email protected]


Kat Clark, Greenpeace USA Media Officer (based in San Francisco)

+1 415 529 0941[email protected]

Pictures/video available here:

Bob Meyers (Photo), +1 202 462 1177 [email protected]

Maarten van Rouveroy (Video) +31 207182208 [email protected]

Notes to editors:

1. Largely as a result of the rapid expansion of the palm oil and pulp and paper sector into Indonesia’s rainforests, by 2005 Indonesia ranked as the world’s third-highest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Loss of its forest habitat to pulp and palm oil concessions has driven endangered wildlife species such as Sumatran tiger and the orangutan closer to extinction.

In 2010, following earlier Greenpeace campaigns the palm oil division of the Sinar Mas group (GAR) agreed to a new Forest Conservation Policy to end any further rainforest clearance, including development of peatland.

APP and APRIL together account for approximately 80% of Indonesian pulp production. These companies are currently the only large-scale producers of pulp using rainforest fiber. The other pulp companies either use plantation acacia only, or produce very small volumes of pulp.

2. A copy of Greenpeace’s letter to APRIL is available at letter to APRIL.pdf

Summary of APP’s Forest Conservation Policy commitments

·         An end to further development of any forested land, including peat forests.

·         Best practice peatland management at landscape level to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

·         New protocols to ensure the principle of free prior and informed consent is implemented in any new 
          plantation development, and for conflict resolution with communities affected by current operations.

·         Monitoring of commitments by The Forest Trust, with independent observers from the NGO community.

·         Additional measures to support responsible forest management throughout APP’s global supply chain.


Summary of Greenpeace’s recent campaign on APP:

Since the launch of our campaign more than 100 major national and international companies have broken ties with APP. These include Adidas, Danone, Delhaize, Hasbro, ING, Kraft, Lego, Mattel, Mondi, Montblanc, Nestlé, Tesco (in the UK), Unilever, and Xerox.

July 2010 – Greenpeace International publishes ‘Pulping the Planet’, revealing that major companies, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Tesco, are buying from APP and showing how APP is contributing to the destruction of tiger habitat in Sumatra.

July 2010 – Publication of ‘Empires of Destruction’, exposing Sinar Mas group-wide expansion ambitions covering over a million hectares of Indonesia’s rainforest and peatlands, including wildlife habitat.

October 2010 – Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior is refused entry to Indonesia where it was to support campaign efforts to raise public awareness of deforestation and climate change.

November 2010 – Publication of ‘Protection Money’, which uncovers huge expansion ambitions by government and the pulp sector that threatens millions of hectares of Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands.

June 2011 – ‘Toying with Destruction’ report released, which shows that major toy companies are buying packaging from APP that contains rainforest fiber. Greenpeace launches a global campaign against Mattel and asks Hasbro, Disney and Lego to stop buying packaging from APP and commit to making their supply chains deforestation-free.

October 2011 – Mattel cancels its contracts with APP and instructs its suppliers to avoid wood fiber from controversial sources, including companies “that are known to be involved in deforestation”.

November 2011 – Hasbro cancels contracts with APP.

November 2011, Greenpeace China releases “The Disappearing Rainforest “, showing that the tropical natural forests of the mountain eco-regions of central Hainan were reduced by approximately 1/4 between 2001 and 2010. Half of this reduction was caused by the expansion of pulp plantations of APP

March 2012 – Greenpeace International releases ‘The Ramin Trail’ report showing that ramin trees, a protected species under international CITES legislation, had been illegally traded to APP’s main pulp mill.

March 2012 – National Geographic, Xerox and Mondi confirm that they will not buy from APP.

April 2012 – Danone cancels contracts with APP and commits to develop new policies to tackle deforestation.

May 2012 – A month after Greenpeace Canada reveals that the investment giant Mackenzie Financial has a $24 million stake in APP’s Indah Kiat paper mill, Mackenzie Financial sells its stake.

May 2012 – Greenpeace International releases the ‘Junking the Jungle’ report and reveals that KFC packaging, bought from APP, contains rainforest fiber. Launch of global campaign to get KFC and its parent company, Yum!, to stop buying from APP and make its supply chain deforestation free.

July 2012 – KFC Indonesia cancels contract with APP

October 2012 – KFC UK and Ireland cancels contract with APP

5 February 2013 – APP commits to end all further rainforest clearance, including peatland forests.

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