New APP logging in Sumatra threatens local people, endangered species | WWF

New APP logging in Sumatra threatens local people, endangered species



Posted on 08 January 2008
Logging highway opened by APP an partners will split in half one of Indonesia’s most important forests.
Logging highway opened by APP an partners will split in half one of Indonesia’s most important forests.
© WWF-Indonesia
The Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape in central Sumatra contains some of the richest biodiversity on Earth, with more than 250 other mammal and bird species. Field investigations by WWF and its partners found evidence of illegal logging and constuction of a logging highway there by APP, one of the world’s largest paper companies, and its partners. The highway allows logging trucks easier access to APP’s pulp mills in Jambi Province; the clearing took place after APP’s forestry operations in neighboring Riau Province were halted due to a police investigation of illegal logging. APP partners have cleared an estimated 20,000 hectares of natural forest in the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape and some of the clearing appears to be in violation of Indonesian law.

The forest is home to two tribes of indigenous people, one of which lives nowhere else on Sumatra. The landscape also was designated one of just 20 “global priority” landscapes for tiger conservation by a global team of tiger scientists in 2006. It is the location of a successful conservation project to reintroduce orangutans, which now reside in a part of the landscape that is proposed for protected status but is already being cleared by APP-affiliated companies, the report found.

Conservationists urge APP and its partners to stop clearing any more natural forest whose ecological, environmental and cultural conservation values have not been determined and to stop sourcing any of its purchased wood from such forests. Conservationists also call on the government to ensure an end to all forms of forest clearance found to violate national Indonesian laws and regulations.

“With its high conservation values, the Bukit Tigapuluh Landscape should be protected and thus all natural forest clearance in the area has to be stopped,” said Ian Kosasih, WWF-Indonesia’s Forest Program Director. “APP is one of the world’s largest paper companies and we believe its global customers expect it to act like a responsible corporate citizen. The company should commission independent assessments of the conservation values of these areas in a publicly transparent manner before any conversion takes place, and commit to protect and manage conservation values identified in these areas.”

Indonesian law has a set of criteria and requirements to be fulfilled prior to conversion of natural forest. Yet evidence found during the investigation indicates APP-affiliated companies converted hundreds of hectares before fulfilling these requirements, thus violating Indonesian law. Part of the area being cleared is in a proposed Specific Protected Area that serves as habitat for about 90 Sumatran orangutans recently introduced into the area for the first time in more than 150 years.
For further information:
Desmarita Murni, WWF-Indonesia: +62 811793458) dmurni@wwf.or.id
Jan Vertefeuille, WWF-International: + 1 202 861 8362 or janv@wwfus.org


Logging highway opened by APP an partners will split in half one of Indonesia’s most important forests.
Logging highway opened by APP an partners will split in half one of Indonesia’s most important forests.
© WWF-Indonesia Enlarge