Companies that produce the pulp used to make rayon and viscose fabrics clothing profit from clearing and planting monocrop pulpwood plantations on forests and farmlands owned by Indigenous and frontline communities. After decades of campaigning led by Indigenous and frontline communities, fashion companies throughout the apparel supply chain—from Disney to producers like Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)—have made policy promises to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuses. Still, not enough has changed on the ground.
Sign the petition to demand that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) keep its promises to respect human rights by resolving its conflicts with communities and actively supporting the return of community-owned lands.
I care about where my clothing comes from. I do not want my clothing to be linked to harm to the world’s forests and climate, or violations of human and land rights of Indigenous and frontline communities. I care that no one is hurt, intimidated or arrested for standing up for their rights.I know your company has taken steps to address these issues, including developing a policy designed to eliminate egregious practices, and provide restitution for communities who have experienced harm in the past. I appreciate this first step. Yet change is coming too slowly. I strongly urge you to listen to the voices of frontline and Indigenous communities, and take urgent action to remedy the past harm they have experienced and to prevent future violations of their rights. Prioritizing this action is necessary to living up to your promises, and is necessary to addressing the concerns of consumers across the world. I look forward to seeing swift progress in Lubuk Mandarsah among many other areas, and I will avoid purchasing from companies who buy from APP until there is verified evidence of change on the ground.
“After the trees were cut down and replaced with eucalyptus plantations, the benzoin tree resin yield decreased and eventually we stopped collecting benzoin resin because Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) intimidated us. We ask that we can work on our land to make a living and provide education for our children.”
For generations, Indigenous Batak communities have planted benzoin trees in the forests on their traditionally-owned lands and have sustainably harvested the tree’s resin for an incense similar to frankincense. For many, this is a significant cultural practice and the primary source of income. Since pulp giant Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) took over communities’ land for its pulp plantation, many benzoin trees have been cut down, directly threatening the livelihoods of many communities.
Photo of Onan Harbangan from Nagasaribu with a benzoin tree sapling ready for planting in the forest.
“We are ready to defend our land to our very last breath, because this land is our life.”
For generations, Indigenous Batak communities have planted benzoin trees in the forests on their traditionally-owned lands and have sustainably harvested the tree’s resin for an incense similar to frankincense. For many this is a significant cultural practice and the primary source of cash income. Pulp giant Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) has taken over many of the benzoin forests clearing them for eucalyptus pulp plantations, directly threatening the livelihoods of many communities.
Photo of Timura br. Siregor, in the benzoin tree forest on her traditionally-owned land. Timura is one of the few women who harvest benzoin resin, traditionally harvested only by men.
This photo shows paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)’s plantations on the Kampar Peninsula, Sumatra. In 2002, this was pristine rainforest and carbon rich peatlands––one of the biggest carbon sinks on the planet. Today, APP has drained and cleared over 52,000 hectares of forests and peatlands on the peninsula.
Peatlands safely store huge amounts of carbon, but when drained and burned for monocrop plantations, release massive amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. Deforestation and the burning of peatlands contribute to making Indonesia one of the largest climate polluters in the world.
Photo credit: Wetlands International