Pulp and paper producer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) is awaiting an Indonesian Ministry of Forestry report following accusations of illegal logging by Greenpeace.
Greenpeace recently published the results of a year-long investigation, which uncovered traces of endangered ramin trees that had allegedly been sent to APP’s main Indonesidan pulp mill, Indah Kiat Perawang.
In the report, Greenpeace states that ramin logs were visually identified amongst those waiting to be pulped inside the factory gate and that samples of these were sent for independent testing. The environmental NGO goes on to claim that 49 out of 56 logs tested were confirmed to be from ramin trees.
Ramin is protected by Indonesian law and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). All products containing Indonesian ramin, with very few exceptions and including pulp and paper, are covered by laws set by these bodies.
Since 2001, Appendix II CITES states that international trade of endangered species, including ramin, can only be authorised by an export permit. The only legal source of ramin in Indonesia is the FSC-certified PT Diamond Raya selective logging operation.
According to Greenpeace, APP has stated that Sinarmas Forestry is its "exclusive" supplier of pulpwood in Indonesia, a company not covered by a ramin export permit.
CITES also states that exports of ramin are limited to sawn wood and timber products and any other internationally traded products, including paper, are in violation of Appendix II CITES.
Greenpeace claims that APP and Sinarmas Forestry are in violation of CITES regulations, based on the ramin it identified in Indah Kiat Perawangs’ log yards.
Following the accusations, a number of APP customers, including food company Danone and diary publisher Collins Debden, a subsidiary of book publisher Collins, have suspended purchasing from the manufacture either permanently or until they are satisfied that the paper company is trading sustainably.
IT and printing supplier Xerox enforced a permanent ban on APP products in 2002, although corrective action had to be taken when the company discovered APP paper had been bought and resold as recently as 2011 by one of its European units.
APP is awaiting the result of the Ministry of Forestry’s investigation into the alleged discovery of ramin at its pulp mill before it responds to the accusations and has issued the following statement in the interim:
"APP is committed to ensure that its operations, control systems and chain of custody process are in accordance with Indonesian law. The Ministry of Forestry has issued public statements regarding the investigation process for the ramin issue, and therefore APP will provide update on the matter once the process is completed."blog comments powered by Disqus