Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peatlands clearing in Kalimantan despite moratorium

RPHK (Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan), an NGO coalition in Kalimantan (Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan - RPHK) released a report revealing that the "forest conservation policy" of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) / Sinar Mas Forestry (SMG) announced in February failed to protect up to 1,400 hectares of natural forest in West Kalimantan province. Field investigation and Landsat image analysis shot that these forests were cleared inside PT Daya Tani Kalbar concession, after APP's self-imposed moratorium on logging and land clearing form 1st February.
APP had excluded these forests rom the moratorium in their "moratorium map" despite being on peat and potential habitat of Bornean orangutan and Proboscis monkey, both endangered according to IUCN Red List and protected Indonesian law.
"APP does not appear to take its new forest policy serious," said Sulhani, Director of Yayasan Titian/ RPHK Coordinator. "Instead of protecting forests in this concession, APP’s supplier focused on deforestation before and even after the moratorium in this concession which still has by far the largest remaining natural forest among APP’s 10 suppliers in Kalimantan."

According to APP data, PT Daya Tani Kalbar (DTK) was among the 15 suppliers in Indonesia who had harvested natural forest wood up to the moratorium.
Recently, APP data revealed that the 15 suppliers apparently engaged in very large last minute clearance and harvested more tropical forest wood than APP’s pulp mills needed. APP claimed that only 56% of the natural forest wood harvested before the moratorium (899,663 m3 out of the 1,606,098 m3) had been received by APP’s mills by the self-set deadline of August 31, 2013.
An RPHK investigation in November 2013 and historical satellite image analysis between 30 January and 22 November found that DTK continued to clear natural forest on peat soil in three areas long after the APP moratorium. "The clearance of up to 1,400 hectares of natural forest by DTK after the moratorium is in clear violation of APP’s policy. It was done without completed HCV (high conservation value), HCS (high carbon stock) and peat expert assessments," said Syamsul Rusdi, deputy director of Link-AR Borneo.
Despite a joint field verification by APP, TFT, Greenpeace and JPIK Focal Point in West Kalimantan in September 2013, this continuing forest clearance was not reported by APP and TFT.
“It is shameful that APP and its consultant The Forest Trust (TFT) neither prevented DTK continuing to violate the policy nor publicy disclosed its policy breach,” added Sulhani.
"These repeated violations of APP’s no-deforestation policy show how important truly independent audits are" says Ian Hilman of WWF-Indonesia. "CSOs will continue monitoring the companies’ forestry operations in the field to inform the public of what is really happening on the ground and to ensure that APP improve its transparency."

APP subsidiaries involved in Ramin harvesting in 2012

 Latest report published by Greenomics Indonesia, an NGO, disclosed Tuesday that two suppliers of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in South Sumatra and West Kalimantan provinces had found clearing and supplying protected Ramin logs.
The Investigation by Ministry of Forestry was conducted in responding Greenpeace report “The Ramin Paper Trail” (March 2012) which now has proved that PT Rimba Hutani Mas and PT Kalimantan Subur Permai, the two APP subsidiaries, involved in felling and supplying ramin logs to APP pulp mill.

Greenomics Indonesia said it obtained a copy of the full Ministry of Forestry investigative report some time ago. “Surprise, surprise, the report shows that the suppliers of illegal ramin logs mentioned in the Greenpeace report turn out to be owned by the Sinar Mas Group (APP/Sinarmas Forestry.) In fact, their head offices are located at the same address as APP headquarters in Jakarta,” the report said.
The Greenomics report said that the publication, “at the very least, be used as a reference by the public that suppliers of illegal ramin logs, which APP claims are independent suppliers, are in fact APP subsidiaries.”
According to the Ministry of Forestry’s investigative report, two subsidiaries of the Sinar Mas Group (APP/Sinarmas Forestry) supplied ramin logs to the APP mill. It needs to be stressed here that this finding is based on various legal documents in the possession of the Ministry of Forestry, including documents submitted by the companies themselves to the Ministry of Forestry, which documents were subsequently approved by the ministry.
According to these documents, there is no doubt whatsoever that the two suppliers are in fact subsidiaries of the Sinar Mas Group (APP / Sinarmas Forestry).