Thursday, September 27, 2012

APP: moratorium or business as usual?

On 5 September, APP published the Highlights of First Quarterly Progress Report for its Sustainability Roadmap 2020 launched on 5 June 2012. A nice pubblication, but behind colorful announcements, the reality on the ground shows little or no improvement. APP announces the progress in the moratorium: "Two independent pulpwood suppliers in Jambi – Tebo Multi Agro (TMA) and Rimba Hutani Mas (RHM) - have agreed to join APP’s own Wira Karya Sakti (WKS) company in the region, by suspending natural forest clearance with immediate effect while HCV assessments are conducted." But the Indonesian coalition Eyes on the Forest reveals the hidden truth: The TMA concession appears to already have finished its planned deforestation. One of RHM’s concession blocks is the Taman Rajah reserve which APP has been advertising for years and has already been commited as areas that are not to be clear cut. The other two RHM concession blocks have already finished their natural forest clearing. They have almost no natural forest remaining. Apparetly, the two companies stopped their caterpillar just because the dirty job was already done. Not an announcement to be proud of.And what's about the moratorium announced in June with big media emphasis? So far it is just business as usual, where "usual" looks much like deforestation, as pointed out by the Indonesian coalition Eyes on the Forest in a report released las July.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Human Rights body: farmer’s death in APP’s concession questionable

National Human Rights Commission concluded temporarily that a farmer died near concession of PT Suntara Gaja Pati (SGP), a timber supplier associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), in improper manner and needed further investigation. Supratmin, the farmer, was found dead in peat canal of PT SGP in Senepis forest block of Dumai city on 29 June 2012. Suhendro, senior investigator the Human Rights Commission said last week that based on accounts by witnesses as a part of fact finding mission conducted by the agency, there was an incident preceded the death. “From residents’ accounts and supported by the fact found in the site of dead body in canal of PT SGP, it is likely the death of Supratmin is not normal,” said Suhendro. “Before the death took place, there was an occurrence preceding it, that was conflict against PT SGP,” Suhendro explaining that the group of farmers called Pandawa Lima had conflict with the company. “And this becomes initial data to uncover the cause of Supratmin’s death,” Suhendro said as quoted by Tribun Pekanbaru as saying (7/9/2012). Supratmin, a farmer from Buluhala village of Sungai Sembilan sub-district, was found dead by his friends in peat canals of PT SGP where tense conflict involving the local farmers against PT SGP occurred at that time. The Human Rights Commission also urged the police to release temporarily two farmers whom detained by the police following the conflict in the end of June. Taufik Kurahman, head of Pandawa Lima farmers group, said that the two farmers detained after they cleared their plantation and felled acacia trees planted by PT SGP. The security of PT SGP chased after the two farmers and Supratmin, but the latter was previously lost before being found dead in the peat canal of APP supplier which operated in Sumatran tiger habitat. Suhendro said that his organization would question the local police, Dumai municipality administration, and PT SGP. Zulkarnain, head of Sungai Sembilan sub-district, said the residents hailed the hard work done by the Human Rights Commission to respond the concerns raised by the community. “It is a fight initiated by the farmers group, “ he said. Tools & Solutions What's in your paper? Learn about solutions Shrink paper: addressing the over-consumption The paper calculator, to quantify the benefits of better paper choices. The European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN)