November 12, 2018

Fate of Bornean orangutan linked to APRIL policy

(foresthints.news) - The open market-based acacia fiber sourcing policy adopted by PaperOne producer APRIL, which completely ignores the deforestation of high carbon stock (HCS) forests in its supply chain, is leading to extensive loss of the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan’s habitat.

This concern was conveyed by Greenomics Indonesia during the same presentation (Nov 6) in which it also revealed that APRIL’s supply chain remains tied to HCS deforestation, as earlier reported by foresthints.news (Nov 8).

As long as APRIL continues pursuing its open market-based acacia fiber sourcing policy, according to Greenomics, the Singaporean giant is not only driving the disappearance of HCS forests, but also the loss of the Bornean orangutan’s habitat. 

As evidence of this, Greenomics cited the ongoing clearance of the Bornean orangutan’s habitat in the PT Swadaya Perkasa (PT SP) pulpwood concession, a case that highlights the destructive impact of APRIL’s open market-based acacia fiber sourcing policy.

This concession is situated in East Kalimantan’s Berau regency and spans equivalent of more than 17 thousand football fields. Major parts of it contain HCS forests inhabited by the Bornean orangutan which are being relentlessly razed to make way for new acacia plantations. 

The acacia seeds for the pulpwood plantation development in the PT SP concession were supplied by PT TRH, one of APRIL’s acacia fiber suppliers which continues to clear HCS forests, as also exposed by Greenomics and reported by foresthints.news (Nov 8).

The following Planet Explorer images, presented by Greenomics, show how the Bornean orangutan’s habitat in the PT SP concession, whose permit was granted in 2011, is being eradicated to be replaced by acacia plantations.

The acacia fiber derived from this new acacia plantation development, undertaken at the expense of the Bornean orangutan’s habitat, will possibly be sourced by APRIL if it maintains its open market-based acacia fiber sourcing policy. 

Immediate cancellation urged 

“If APRIL’s policy of sourcing acacia fiber from the open market isn’t immediately cancelled, this will result in the widespread loss of the Bornean orangutan’s habitat,” Vanda Mutia Dewi, Executive Director of Greenomics, warned.

A previous news report by foresthints.news (Nov 5) focused on another pulpwood company, PT IFP, which persists in clearing the Bornean orangutan’s habitat (consisting of HCS forests) to develop new acacia plantations which are expected to be harvested in the next 5-6 years.

Subsequently, this acacia fiber will be sold to the open market, with APRIL very likely to purchase the fiber seeing that it is on the open market and permitted by the company's policy, even though PT IFP is now engaged in clearing the Bornean orangutan’s habitat. 

“It’s critical that APRIL is urged to scrap its destructive open market-based acacia fiber sourcing policy,” Vanda emphasized.

“Securing its long-term fiber supply by allowing the purchasing of acacia fiber from the open market, without any regard to its association with HCS deforestation even after declaring its sustainability policy (in June 2015), represents a serious setback for APRIL,” she added. 

In a prior public statement, APRIL stated that it doesn’t buy or use natural forest fiber from open market suppliers or any other suppliers, confirming this position in response to a CSO coalition report published in mid-August this year. 

The statement implicitly admits that its policy does allow it to purchase acacia fiber from open market suppliers, even though these suppliers are engaged in HCS deforestation which significantly affects the habitat of the Bornean orangutan.