asia pulp & paper, singapore
Indonesia’s forests, along with those in countries like Brazil and Zaire, were once part of an enormously biodiverse band crossing the earth. Spanning two different geological zones, this greenbelt was home to many plant and animal species.
Tragically, during the past 30 years, commercial logging has destroyed nearly three-quarters of the country’s rainforest in what is the world’s fastest national rate of deforestation, resulting in 2-3 million hectares of deforestation per year. According to the World Bank, Indonesia will lose all of its forests in the next 15 years if the government does not act quickly. An estimated 73 percent of all logging in Indonesia is believed to be illegal.
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one of the world’s largest paper companies, is responsible for decimating large areas of Indonesian rainforest, particularly on the island of Sumatra. It is also one of the largest corporate debtors in the world, owing US$13 billion to hundreds of banks. APP has cleared over 280,000 hectares of rainforest in the past decade, and plans to cut another 300,000 over the next five years. The company has also been involved in conflicts with indigenous peoples in Sumatra, resulting in injuries to villagers attempting to blockade the road to company facilities.
Millions of people rely on Indonesia’s forests for their livelihoods, combining rice and other crop cultivation with fishing, hunting, and the harvesting and selling of timber, coffee, rubber, rattan, honey, and resins. The Indonesian rainforests are also home to threatened species including the Orangutan, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran rhino and Asian elephant.
WALHI/Friends of the Eath Indonesia is calling for an immediate moratorium on logging in Indonesia in an effort to save what’s left of the country’s forests. Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland is supporting their efforts by campaigning against British banks financing rainforest destruction in Indonesia.
more information: www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/corporates/case_studies/app, www.walhi.or.id