APRIL refutes 'off-base' Greenpeace attack

Simon Nias
Friday, July 11, 2014

Indonesian pulp and paper firm APRIL has refuted claims by Greenpeace that it is turning High Conservation Value (HCV) forest in its concession on the island of Pulau Padang into a plantation.

Following this week's call by the NGO for customers to join a boycott of its products, APRIL said that it was "in full compliance with its sustainable forest management policies" and that "attacks on its credibility by Greenpeace are off-base".

Greenpeace had published photographs showing clearance of dense forest and drainage of peatlands on an APRIL concession on the Padang island off the coast of Riau, which the NGO presented as evidence that APRIL was lying to customers about not developing HCV land.

However, the pulp and paper firm - the second largest in Indonesia, has responded by stating that the photographs in question show the area of the concession that was deemed not to be of High Conservation Value.

"Plantation establishment work [on Pulau Padang] only started after thorough third-party assessment of the concession area. High Conservation Value forest was identified and is being conserved in that concession," the company said.

"The photos circulated by Greenpeace are all of APRIL’s non-HCV operational areas designated for plantation development. Land management plans on APRIL’s Pulau Padang concession have also been the subject of extensive review by the Indonesian authorities and other third parties over the past two years. APRIL is in compliance with all requirements."

APRIL added that it had conserved 250,000 hectares of HCV forest to date and that it operates "only on areas that are not of high conservation value".

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