Paper giant APRIL linked to Borneo forest clearing despite zero-deforestation vow

JAKARTA — Pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) has allegedly violated its own sustainability commitment by purchasing wood from a company clearing rainforest in Indonesian Borneo, according to a new report. APRIL is one of the world’s biggest producers of pulpwood, from which paper and related products are made. Since 2015 it has committed to not harvesting wood pulp from natural and peat forests. But the new report by a coalition of environmental NGOs alleges that APRIL has been sourcing some of its wood pulp from PT Adindo Hutani Lestari (AHL), a company that has cleared an area of natural forest the size of 15,000 football fields over the past five years. According to the report, at least 7,290 hectares (18,000 acres) of natural forest, half of them located in areas deemed of high conservation value (HCV) as well as carbon-rich peatland, have been cleared within AHL’s pulpwood concession in North Kalimantan province between June 3, 2015 — the date when APRIL adopted its zero-deforestation policy — and Aug. 31 this year. In its deforestation analysis, the coalition used land-cover classification maps from Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry as well as global tree cover loss data from the University of Maryland based on NASA’s Landsat satellite imagery. AHL has for the past five years been among the top five suppliers to APRIL, sending 79,000 truckloads of wood to the group’s pulp mill in central Sumatra from 2015-2019. During that period, “APRIL received or purchased…This article was originally published on Mongabay
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