NGOs hail Asia Pulp & Paper volte-faceMarch 2013
One of the world’s largest paper and packaging producers has pledged to end its role in the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest.
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has published a Forest Conservation Policy which, if implemented, could end its long and controversial role in the country’s deforestation.
The pulp and paper sector has been identified by the Indonesian government as a lead driver of deforestation, along with the palm oil sector. APP’s move follows years of pressure from Indonesian and international NGOs, which have challenged its role in rainforest clearance that includes vital wildlife habitats – it is home to the endangered Sumatran tiger – and areas inhabited by forest communities.
One NGO celebrating APP’s move is Greenpeace. Its campaign to transform Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector has included investigations of APP’s operations and high profile campaigns around the world, exposing the global brands which source their paper and packaging from APP.
As a result of public pressure, many global brands suspended contracts with APP and introduced policies to remove deforestation from their supply chains. More than 100 companies have taken action, including Adidas, Kraft, Mattel, Hasbro, Nestlé, Carrefour, Staples and Unilever.
In a statement, the head of Greenpeace’s Indonesian forest campaign, Bustar Maitar, said: “If APP fully implements its new policies, it will mark a dramatic change in direction.”
APP, part of the Sinar Mas group, is one of just two global pulp and paper producers in Indonesia that has relied on rainforest fibre in the production of household products.
Greenpeace is now turning its attention to Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL), Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper producer, to pressure it to make a similar commitment to end deforestation.
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