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, APPâ€™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 APPâ€™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 APPâ€™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 APPâ€™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 APPâ€™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.
â€œIt 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,â€ added Sulhani.
“These repeated violations of APPâ€™s no-deforestation policy show how important truly independent audits are” says Ian Hilman of WWF-Indonesia. “CSOs will continue monitoring the companiesâ€™ 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.”