INVESTIGATIONS CONFLICT ON APP'S FOREST COMMITMENT
An investigation in Borneo cleared Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) of violating Indonesia's zero deforestation committment, but an analysis released by a coalition of environmental groups stated that the commitment will not provide any "real conservation benefits." An investigation by the Forest Trust followed allegations that two APP suppliers were actively clearing within two concession areas, which would put them "in clear violation of their commitment to APP’s forest conservation policy," according to a consortium of local NGOs. APP responded by promising to dispatch investigators to the site of the alleged clearing and inviting local NGOs headed by the Forest Trust. The investigation showed forest and peatland clearing at the sites but did not link the deforestation to APP or its suppliers. However, an analysis released last week by Eyes on the Forest said that the company's deforestation policy protects "at most 5,000 hectares of natural forest," compared to the deforestation of nearly two million hectares by APP over the last 30 years. "After this new analysis for Sumatra, it appears that the company has announced a halt to deforestation only after completing nearly all the deforestation it could possible do," said Conservation director of WWF-Indonesia Nazir Foead. The World Wildlife Fund claimed that despite previous promises to exclusively pulp plantation fiber by 2004, 2007, and 2009, the company's rate of deforestation remained constant. The WWF director said that APP slowed down in 2012 "for the sole reason that there was very little natural forest left to cut." For the story on the Forest Trust investigation, see http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0404-app-vs-wwf.html. For the story on th Eyes on the Forest report, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/04/app-logging-promise.