Pages tagged "pulp"


Toba Pulp Lestari: In depth on one of the worst actors in pulp and paper

 

TobaPulp.pngIndonesian pulp and paper giant Toba Pulp Lestari has been operating recklessly in North Sumatra for years. The company's mill has been poisoning communities and disrupting life and livelihoods for the local people who call this area home. The mill, and it’s operators, are responsible for horrific land conflicts between the company and villagers who hold traditional land rights to the company’s concessions.

These communities, whose land is protected by customary rights under Indonesian law, rely on these forests for their life and livelihoods. As reported by RAN’s on-the-ground partner, Kelompok Studi dan Pengembangan Prakarsa Masyarakat, well over 17,000 hectares of natural forest have been destroyed, impacting or displacing over 13,000 Indigenous people.

These communities are fighting back, and at least 59 activists have been arrested for resisting Toba Pulp Lestari’s continued expansion and destruction. In the past few years, land conflict has only escalated between villagers and Toba Pulp Lestari employees over the forest area. Meetings with government representatives and Toba Pulp Lestari management have brought no results, and local villagers have resorted to protests and blockades of company operations in order to protect the forests.

The behavior of Toba Pulp Lestari employees shows clear disregard for the livelihoods of local people. In February 2013, local farmers from Pandumaan and Sipituhuta Villages caught Toba Pulp Lestari employees entering their forest areas and cutting down frankincense trees. Instead of apprehending those causing the destruction, resulting clashes between farmers and the employees led to the arrests of 31 farmers.

The harvest of frankincense is essential to the local economy. These communities, who have farmed this land for generations, extract the frankincense without destroying the trees in order to maintain the health of the forest and keep this vital source of income intact for future generations. When the forests are wiped out for pulp plantations, Toba Pulp Lestari destroys not only the livelihoods of the community, their childrens’ livelihoods, and the ecosystem, but it destroys their culture as well.

Local communities have opposed the mill since it began operations in North Sumatra in 1989 due to the rainforest destruction, land grabbing and toxics pollution central to the company’s business model. In 1990, 10 elderly women from Sugapa Village were arrested for pulling up and destroying eucalyptus plantings on their traditional land. Protests by the local community escalated in 1998 and temporarily shut down the mill. But in recent years, the company has changed its name from PT Inti Indorayon Utama to PT Toba Pulp Lestari and reopened the mill; it is now in the process of expanding its destructive operations further into pristine rainforest. Along with name changes, the company has changed affiliations multiple times in order to hide its destruction. The company was formerly affiliated with pulp and paper giant, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and its parent Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), and is still controlled by notorious Indonesian business tycoon Sukanto Tanoto through holding companies.  

This may seem like a conflict far away from those of us in the Americas, Europe, or Australia, but it’s closer than one would think. A wide variety of consumer products contain pulp from rainforests like those in North Sumatra, including paper, food, cosmetics, household goods—even clothing. This pulp, and the conflict that produced it, is sold on store shelves in your neighborhood - unmarked and unidentifiable.

Unless Toba Pulp Lestari respects the rights of the Indigenous people, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), conflicts will only continue. And while Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has acknowledged the customary forest rights of the communities, Toba Pulp Lestari’s concessions and operations continue to undermine the ability of local people to access and manage their own forests.

We plan to keep you up to date on this conflict and bring more information continue to explore and expose the pulp supply chains threatening global rainforests.... stay tuned.


APRIL Makes A Mockery Of Its Own "Sustainable" Forest Policy

 

Almost six months after the release of its Sustainable Forest Management Policy, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL)—the second-largest Indonesian pulp & paper company—continues business-as-usual rainforest destruction, betraying the spirit and substance of its policy.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in May that APRIL-owned PT RAPP cleared massive swaths of carbon-rich peatlands on Pulau Padang, an island off the Sumatran coast that APRIL promised to help restore. Members of island community Desa Bagan Melibur have called on APRIL to terminate operations on their community land, and Desa Bagan Melibur’s May 17 protest is the most recent clash in a stark legacy of land disputes between APRIL and Padang’s thirteen villages since 2009.

Pulau Padang’s peatlands store millions of tons of carbon and are home to endangered species and communities that depend on these forests for their livelihoods. You could also say the island itself is endangered: decaying peat causes the low-lying island to subside, and scientists warn that if no action is taken, Padang may very well be under sea level and useless for any type of cultivation by 2050.

APRIL’s forest policy itself is rife with loopholes and allows APRIL to continue slashing natural forests in its concessions through December and source rainforest fiber until 2020. Yet the company’s refusal to uphold even its weak policy commitments brings APRIL’s intentions entirely into doubt. In addition to the Pulau Padang case, earlier this year, APRIL suppliers were caught clearing natural forests on legally protected peat land in Borneo and high conservation value forest on peat land in Riau. In the latter case, not only were internationally protected ramin trees cut down, but APRIL supplier PT Triomas allegedly attempted to hide the evidence by burying the contraband logs.

There is mounting recognition that APRIL’s policy and actions are insufficient and not credible. Last Friday, RAN and an international collation of allies co-authored a letter highlighting the severe shortcomings in APRIL’s policies, such as the lack of a moratorium on natural forest and peat land conversion, unclear commitments on resolving social conflicts, and the policy’s narrow scope, which does not extend to cover APRIL’s sister companies within owner Sukanto Tanoto’s rogue cartel of companies, such as Toba Pulp Lestari, Sateri, and Asian Agri. The letter also points to the inadequacy and questionable credibility of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) APRIL set up to help develop, implement, and monitor the forest policy in a transparent and independent manner.

APRIL’s new policy and the SAC risk being nothing but a parade of environmental lip service built on teetering scaffolds of environmental destruction, social conflict, and corruption. Customers and financiers must cut ties with APRIL and other companies owned by Sukanto Tanoto and pressure APRIL to end rainforest clearing and respect community rights.

TAKE ACTION: Tell APRIL owner Sukanto Tanoto to stop pulping Pulau Padang’s rainforests.


A New Chapter for the Publishing Industry: Putting Promises into Practice

pubreport_720x720We don’t get to do this as often as we would like. Today, we get to share some good news with you. Thanks to your hard work and support over the past four years, the world’s top publishers are moving in the right direction when it comes to eliminating rainforest destruction, human rights violations, and species extinction from their supply chains.

We’re publishing A New Chapter for the Publishing Industry: Putting Promises into Practice today, which outlines the shift in the entire sector as the implementation of publishers’ Indonesian forest commitments proceeds. Given the progress that publishers have undertaken in the last four years (since our 2010 report), we can confidently say that you have successfully prodded the 10 biggest publishers—and hence the whole industry—in the right direction. Click here to read the new report.

To really illustrate the point, we are pleased to tell you about two recently announced paper policies from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Macmillan. These policies go farther, in many ways, than past commitments from other companies. They demonstrate a new level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail—and a fierce commitment to eliminating controversial fiber and suppliers in order to protect the forests facing the greatest threats. Over the last four years, RAN has worked closely with publishers to develop and innovate the best practices for eliminating controversial fiber and suppliers from supply chains, and verifying and implementing forest commitments. What has emerged is a set of best practices (spelled out in the report) that could guide companies--not just in paper but in many forest commodities--in tracing their supply chains and protecting forests in the process. Of course, there’s still work to be done.

In order to translate this work to change on the ground, publishers should urge all of their supply chain partners to develop and implement strong, comprehensive paper policies. And, in particular, all companies should either stop buying (or maintain their no-buy stance) on controversial Indonesian pulp and paper giant APRIL and all affiliated companies.

RSVP to join me in a chat on May 27, 2014 to find out how you can help us keep publishers on the right track or to read the report here.

Of course, this transformative work would never have been possible without you. While much of this work has happened behind the scenes, you were with us every step of the way through your commitment to RAN and its work.


Revelations on illegal Indonesian logging sends clear message to governments and buyers

Last week the former governor of Riau province in Sumatra, the epicenter of deforestation in Indonesia, was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Indonesia’s anti corruption court for taking bribes for illegally issuing logging permits to nine suppliers of APRIL’s Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper and APP’s Indah Kiat mills. This conviction follows similar convictions of Riau’s Palalawan and Siak district regents (Bupatis).

This week a diverse and influential civil society network called the “anti forest-mafia coalition” released an in depth and ground breaking analysis of the Indonesian “Forest Legality Verification System” (SVLK) finding flaws in the SVLK standard and its application and detailing sweeping changes required for the system to be credible and contribute to improved forest governance in Indonesia.

The SVLK timber legality assurance system comes out of an agreement between the EU and Indonesian governments aimed at improving forest governance and ensuring that Indonesian forest products are produced, harvested and shipped in compliance with the laws and regulations of Indonesia. SLVK certification is intended to assure forest products (wood, paper, etc.) customers and trading partner governments that products are legal and to secure access to foreign markets. In Europe, the intention is that SVLK certified products gain automatic access to the market. In the US, SVLK certification will not provide a guarantee that forest products imported into the US will meet the requirements of the Lacey Act.

Nevertheless, Indonesian forest product companies like APRIL and their customers are already promoting their SVLK certification and hoping that SVLK will fulfill the due diligence requirements of the Lacey Act. However, given systemic governance problems and recent revelations from Indonesia, such assertions are premature. In fact, the anti forest-mafia coalition’s report, and the long list of forest crime cases being considered by Indonesia’s Anti Corruption Commission (KPK) suggests that the Riau former governor’s crimes are just the tip of the iceberg. The Riau convictions and the anti forest-mafia coalition’s report are a wake up call for governments, customers and investors alike. Forest governance in Indonesia and the SVLK certification system still have a long way to go before they can provide confidence in the rule of law or any assurance that it is being implemented and enforced.

The message to customers, investors and importing governments in the EU, Japan, China, the US and around the world is that Indonesian forest products are rife with legal risks and links to corruption and that the current SVLK system does not provide adequate assurance that products are legal or produced in an environmentally or socially responsible manner.

The message to the Indonesian government and producers is that they must tackle corruption, improve forest governance, laws and enforcement and revamp the SVLK standard and its implementation if they are to be trusted and preferred in the international marketplace.

Encouragingly, there is good news that Indonesians and the international community alike can take heart in and support amidst these sobering reports.

First, the Riau prosecutions themselves demonstrate the importance and success of Indonesia’s Anti Corruption Commission (KPK), an institution that is repeatedly demonstrating its integrity, veracity and worth in the face of significant opposition from many powerful interests that it threatens. And second, last week, perhaps the nation’s most well known and important political reformer for clean and improved government and the rule of law, Joko Widodo (or Jokowi as most know him), officially announced his candidacy as presidential candidate in the upcoming elections in July.


Indonesian Forest Protections Under Attack

I wish I didn't have to write this blog post on Earth Day. The rainforest where I saw my first wild orangutan is under threat. I can't believe it! There are many reasons to protect the Leuser Protected Ecosystem, a forest area on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Thousands of Indigenous people rely on the forest for their lives and livelihoods, and it is the last place on Earth where endangered species like the Sumatran orangutan and the Sumatran tiger coexist with elephants, rhinos, and Sunbears. But the government of Aceh, the province in which the Leuser Protected Ecosystem lies, is considering a plan that would remove large regions of forest from the protected area, opening them up to palm oil and pulp plantations, logging, mining, and all of the roads and other infrastructure that come with them. The Indonesian government is now considering the plan, and has the power to reject it. We need to be making sure that what’s left of the world’s rainforests are protected, not opening them to destructive industries seeking to profit from rainforest destruction. Send Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry Hadi Daryanto an email now calling on them to reject this misguided plan and keep the Leuser Protected Ecosystem protected. Of course, it’s not just local communities and wildlife that need to be protected from bulldozers and forest fires. Indonesia’s rainforests are a valuable carbon sink—destroying them would make our climate problem that much worse, imperiling the future of everyone on this planet just to enrich a few well-connected businessmen. Urge the President of Indonesia and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry to protect local communities, endangered species, and the climate now.

RAN and Allies Call on APP to Respect Human Rights

[caption id="attachment_20698" align="alignleft" width="300"]Community opposing APP Members of an Indigenous farmers group from Siabu, Riau Province meet to make plans for reclaiming their traditional lands currently being used by a pulp plantation supplying APP.[/caption] While Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) questionable financial dealings and destructive impact on rainforests and the climate have been widely reported, the human rights violations and social conflict associated with the company’s expropriation of community lands are less well known. Last week, RAN proudly joined with several Indonesian and international human rights and environmental organizations to send a letter to APP outlining the steps the company must take to address its human rights record and prevent further land grabs and rights violations. Along with CAPPA, HuMa, WBH, Scale Up and Forest Peoples Programme, we sent the letter to outline the shortcomings in APP's operations and to emphasize that the company must take responsibility for the social and environmental footprint associated with all the wood coming into its mills to make pulp and paper. While the company has recently taken some tentative steps in the right direction, they must make urgent and far-reaching changes to the way they do business in order to remedy previous and prevent further disastrous environmental and human rights impacts. To quote the letter:
At a general level, we urge that APP inform its direct (“owned”) and indirect (“independent”) suppliers that it will stop purchasing from any suppliers that: • Do not respect the rights of affected communities to the ownership and control of their titled and customary lands and to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to proposed developments on their lands as expressed through their own freely chosen representatives; • Have failed to resolve social conflict and human rights violations with affected communities to the mutual satisfaction of affected parties; • Evict communities with land claims in concessions and consider CSR activities as adequate and final resolution of conflicts • Do not place a moratorium on logging and natural forest clearance until High Conservation Values have been identified and maintained, and; • Continue to clear and drain areas of peat soil or convert High Carbon Stock Forest
RAN has been working with leading businesses, civil society and local communities to get APP—which is one of the two biggest pulp and paper companies operating in Indonesia, along with Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL)—to own up to and change how it does business, and it must do so before going forward with its expansion plans. APP could use its position in the industry to effect real and positive change, which is exactly what we're urging the company to do:
We ask that APP inform its suppliers that it will only be able to purchase wood from them if they follow the same human rights and environmental commitments that we suggest APP take on itself.
You can download the letter as as PDF, or read it here:

http://www.scribd.com/embeds/120543443/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll


Victory for Forests: Disney Changes Sourcing On All Its Paper Products, Takes a Stand for Endangered Forests and Animals

[caption id="attachment_20104" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Click image to send a thank you letter to Disney!"][/caption] Today, Disney adds its significant voice to the growing chorus of companies demonstrating that there’s no need to sacrifice endangered forests in Indonesia or elsewhere for the paper we use every day. This entertainment giant, which is the world's biggest publisher of children's books and magazines, has adopted what may be one of the most far-reaching paper policies ever, including groundbreaking safeguards for the climate and human rights. RAN began our Disney campaign in 2010 after lab tests found that its children’s books were printed with rainforest fiber from Indonesia. You might remember the vivid protest where Mickey and Minnie Mouse locked themselves to the gates of Disney's headquarters in May 2011? That risky tactic got the company's attention. Within a week, Disney senior executives flew to San Francisco to meet with RAN’s forest team. Now, after 18 months of productive negotiations, RAN is standing with Disney as the company announces it will eliminate paper connected to the destruction of endangered forests, human rights violations, and the loss of high carbon value forests. In practical terms, this significant new paper policy means that Disney will be eliminating paper connected to the destruction of endangered forests and animals from its extensive operations and those of its licensees; it applies to both the way Disney sources and uses paper, reaching every corner of the company’s business. The policy covers everything from the pages of a Marvel comic book in New York and the copy paper at ABC’s headquarters in LA to the packaging of a Mickey doll sold in Moscow. In the 21st century it is indefensible that any paper still comes from endangered rainforests. And yet, in places like Indonesia, which has one of the most biologically and culturally diverse forests, the pulping of trees for paper is a part of why the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Conservatively, an estimated 2.5 million acres of rainforest are lost in Indonesia per year. Thanks to this policy, Disney will be joining the growing list of major brands that have cut ties to notorious Indonesian rainforest destroyers and paper giants Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL). Disney’s commitment will reduce the demand for paper made at the expense of rainforests while creating incentives for improved forest management and green growth. So, just how big is this announcement? For a bit of perspective, consider that Disney products are produced in almost 25,000 factories worldwide, 10,000 in China alone. Disney owns a vast media empire including media networks such as ABC and ESPN alongside studios including Pixar and Touchstone, and is the largest licensor of toys and the largest operator of theme parks in the world. All that takes a LOT of paper—none of which can be connected to the destruction of endangered forests and animals in Indonesia or elsewhere. What excites me most about Disney’s commitment is its depth, affirming that the company will avoid not only tropical deforestation, but also go above and beyond to protect human rights and to recognize the high carbon value of rainforests – two things rarely seen in policies of this kind. Join me in thanking Disney for taking this stand. It is time every company acknowledge that Rainforests are more valuable left standing than being pulped for paper!

Congress: Protect the Forests and Wildlife of the World From Illegal Logging

Did you know that almost half of all rainforest destruction is done illegally? Government corruption, lax laws and poor enforcement result in widespread illegal deforestation across the globe. This unofficial forest clearing makes it extremely challenging to truly protect critically endangered species like the orangutan or Sumatran tiger from extinction and it contributes enormous amounts of carbon into our atmosphere. And now, the best law on the books to prevent illegal logging worldwide – the Lacey Act - is under attack. The Republican leadership cancelled for now a vote originally scheduled for this week in the House of Representatives on H.R. 3210, the “RELIEF Act.” A broad coalition of forest products companies, workers, conservation groups, and musicians praised House leadership for halting the measure, which would have many negative economic and ecological consequences if passed. Please send a letter today asking your congressional representative to vote against the RELIEF Act if Republicans move forward and call for a vote in the House. The Lacey Act ensures that only legally sourced wood and wood products are imported into the country, reducing global deforestation rates and preventing job losses in the American forest products industry. The act has been so successful that other countries are looking to create their own versions of the law. Over sixty major forest products companies, thirty-five leading conservation organizations and labor unions, and over thirty top-selling musicians sent letters to members of Congress asking them to oppose any attempts to weaken the Lacey Act. But the Lacey Act remains in jeopardy by those wishing to end environmental protections and regulations. Their proposals, such as the "RELIEF" Act and "FOCUS" Act, would effectively gut the Lacey Act, reversing years of hard fought efforts to stop international deforestation. These bills would directly benefit notorious forest destroyers like Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and would allow illegal loggers to around the world to operate with impunity. The result would be a flood of illegal wood into the U.S. market. Send a message today urging your representative to vote No on H.R. 3210, H.R. 4171 or any other bill that would weaken the Lacey Act.

What Do Environmentalists And Animal Rights Activists Have In Common?

[caption id="attachment_14597" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Less than 400 critically endangered Sumatran tigers remain in the wild. No more habitat deforestation for palm oil & paper!"]Sumatran tiger[/caption] What do the environmental and animal rights movements have in common? More than you might think, including a profound love of certain vegan products that mark an intersection of our work to create a more just and sustainable future for all of Earth's inhabitants. This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in a keynote panel at the close of the 2011 National Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles. Every seat in the large ballroom was taken by a dedicated animal rights activist, even though it was late on a Sunday evening. Prior to the presentation, as I walked past tables and booths and chatted with people, I was inspired by the many folks I met who have dedicated so much of their time and energy to their values and beliefs. I had been asked to speak on a panel about bridges between the animal rights and environmental movements. Also on the panel were Taryn Kiekow, a lawyer with Natural Resources Defense Council, and Dr. Rose Marie White, Southern California Endangered Species chair of the Sierra Club. Taryn spoke about NRDC's work to protect whales, and Rose Marie talked about how struggles to protect land are also struggles to protect the incredible species of wildlife that reside there. George Shea, who hosted the keynote panel, spoke in his introductory comments about the paramount issue of climate change, and it's connection to species extinction risks, thus situating climate change as a primary issue of animal rights. In my presentation, I echoed George's concerns of climate change's risk of driving extinction, and of the right of animals to exist. I focused my analysis through the lens of deforestation. Indonesia's rainforests are home to incredible, majestic, and endangered creatures such as the orangutan and Sumatran tiger. Currently, Indonesia's rapid pace of deforestation has made the country the world's 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter behind the US and China. That's right: Not only does rainforest destruction directly threaten the habitat of wildlife, it also releases more greenhouse gases than all of the cars, trains, planes, and trucks in the U.S. combined! Exacerbating climate change will only further endanger all of us, including our animal relatives. Animal rights , environmental, social justice and climate justice activism all have significant reasons to confront the drivers of deforestation in Indonesia. This issue is a major intersection in our movements. It was incredible to name those drivers of deforestation in my presentation: pulp and paper and palm oil plantation expansion. Many people in the room already know about Cargill, the largest privately owned corporation in the world, and the #1 importer of palm oil in the United States. Cargill has long been on the animal rights sh*t-list because of their inhumane profit model in the cattle industry. Now animal rights activists have another reason to work to stop Cargill from practicing business as usual: The company has no commitments to change its palm oil supply chain in time to save Sumatran tigers and orangutans. cargill logo jam You can take action by signing our petition to Cargill right now. Then, call Cargill and tell CEO Gregory Page exactly what you think about their palm oil problem: 1-800-CARGILL (1-800-227-4455). [caption id="attachment_14598" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Earth Balance vegan buttery spread contains palm oil sourced from RSPO-members. Not enough. "][/caption] What came as a surprise to some and an ironic twist to others is the fact that palm oil is in some of our most beloved vegan products, including Earth Balance vegan buttery spread. OH THE SALTY TEARS! While Earth Balance knows its consumers enough to have a palm oil statement on its homepage, the company is still standing behind sourcing from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) members. Membership is not certification. My mom could join the RSPO for $3,000. Just kidding. Kind of. But seriously, read RAN Agribusiness Campaigner Ashley Schaeffer's blog about the RSPO Membership Myth. Earth Balance needs to only source RSPO-certified palm oil, RSPO-member-supplied is NOT enough for the expectations of a vegan consumer base. Vegans and animal rights activists have made inspiring, courageous choices to live by their values. Palm oil ending up in vegan products that are causing orangutan extinction is a time bomb in consumer advocacy that vegan product suppliers would be wise to address rather than avoid. And we know animal rights advocates are not going to settle for anything other than real solutions. After the talk, I was inspired by how many people were so excited to get involved, to take action, and to learn more. By strategically aligning our movements where our issues overlap, we can make significant strides in protecting rainforests, the creatures that depend on this habitat, and keeping our climate stable. In this way, we are bridging our movements around focused strategy and solutions, and this is an issue we will WIN!

Leading Rainforest Destroyer APP Issues Attack on RAN’s Credibility

UPDATE: On October 11, 2012, Disney announced a comprehensive paper policy that maximizes its use of environmentally superior papers like recycled and eliminates controversial sources like those connected to Indonesian rainforest destruction. For more info, visit www.ran.org/disney. Here at RAN, attacks on our organization are often a sign that our tactics are working.  Just such an affirmation arrived last week, when logging giant Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) went to great lengths in an attempt to challenge the validity of a case study report recently released by RAN that profiles the devastating social and ecological consequences of APP’s reckless logging practices. The report, titled Corruption, Land Conflict and Forest Destruction was released with the launch of RAN’s campaign to get the Walt Disney Company to stop using paper connected to rainforest destruction. APP has a long history of corruption, political manipulation and aggressive expansion into new forests and new markets. The UK Guardian's George Monbiot said the corporation may be "one of the most destructive companies on the planet.” True to form, APP responded aggressively to the release of RAN’s case study detailing impacts on local communities and forests caused by APP’s deforestation. According to the Vancouver Sun on June 6, 2011, “APP responded to the RAN report by sending speedboats and helicopters to the remote community in Sumatra to question villagers.” RAN’s main concern is for the communities and community members who have raised their voices to bring attention to the egregious actions of APP. Any intimidation and harassment of community members is unacceptable. RAN will continue to monitor the safety and security of our allies as we pursue our campaign goals of challenging the destructive practices of APP. APP paid to promote its claims on an international business wire, alleging the community leaders featured in RAN’s report had disavowed their previous statements. RAN stands by the evidence and conclusions presented in the case study and challenges APP to address the substantive claims the case presents. In fact, National Public Radio’s program Living on Earth did a feature episode on deforestation and climate change in late 2009 in which they visited the same area featured in RAN’s report. Their coverage echo’s the content and conclusions put forward in RAN’s case study. RAN has long recognized APP as one of the world’s most dangerous rainforest destroyers and has campaigned successfully to get leading companies including the Gucci Group, Simon & Schuster, International Paper, Tiffany & Co., Levi’s, Penguin/Pearson, and over 20 others to sever ties to APP and controversial Indonesian fiber. Perhaps APP’s distortion of facts and focus on RAN is evidence that the global campaign to may be getting under the company’s skin. By its intimidating response, APP is avoiding the important questions about its operations raised by the report that it doesn’t want to answer. Is APP still clearing tiger habitat and other valuable natural forests and peatlands? Is APP respecting the free, prior and informed consent of communities to choose if their traditional lands become company controlled plantations? Are the people and environment better off than before the company came in? What are APP’s expansion plans and where is the fiber and money coming from to fuel its expansion? APP’s response to RAN illustrates the company’s newfound sophistication in corporate double speak and over-the-top greenwashing. The company has hired slick pr firm Cohn and Wolfe and launched a vigorous drive to clean up its image through flowery words and visionary statements that would be comical if they did not conceal such a dark truth beneath. For a preview of what we can expect to see more of as the global campaign to unmask APP continues to grow in scope and strength, visit the company’s new website, Rainforest Realities, perhaps the pinnacle of the companies Orwellian tactics to date. With categories like ‘biodiversity’ ‘carbon storage’ and my favorite, ‘people, planet, profit,’ we can see that APP is learning the language of sustainability. We can only hope they will soon be motivated enough to actually practice it.

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