2016-04-07

Plantation fiber from suspended concession not to be pulped, warns WWF


JAKARTA (foresthints.news) -WWF-Indonesia has explicitly stated that the harvesting of planted-acacia blocks by PT SRL, one of APRIL’s major suppliers, at a time when this company’s concession license had been suspended, constitutes a clear violation of the law.

The leading conservation group went even further, stressing that APRIL itself is not permitted to process this harvested acacia wood into pulp.

“This major supplier of APRIL blatantly harvested planted-acacia blocks while its license was under suspension, putting its operations in direct conflict with the prevailing laws and regulations. This also means that APRIL cannot use the acacia wood harvested (as plantation fiber) by PT SRL,” asserted Nursamsu, WWF-Indonesia's Forest Crime Unit Leader, on Monday (Apr 4).

Nursamsu went on to say that PT SRL must prioritize meeting the conditions stipulated in order for its license suspension to be lifted, as opposed to its current practice of continuing to harvest planted-acacia blocks despite its license suspension still being in force.

“There are two separate issues here. Firstly, PT SRL must refrain from engaging in any activities whatsoever, including harvesting. Also, it is clear that APRIL is sourcing its raw materials from areas whose license has been frozen, and as such it shouldn’t be allowed to accept or use this harvested wood.”

The WWF activist also warned APRIL that using acacia wood harvested in violation of the suspended concession license was tantamount to it sourcing plantation fiber from a concession enduring legal difficulties.

“APRIL needs to understand that a license suspended by the government equates to a legally-problematic license. Obviously a company should not be making pulp from plantation fiber that comes from such a legally-problematic concession.”

With respect to this issue, the Director General of Law Enforcement at the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry has sent a team to conduct a field inspection of PT SRL’s operations. The Director General affirmed that the forthcoming results of this field verification would determine the action to be taken.

Likewise, APRIL also stated that it is waiting for verification results from the supplier concerned.

A report on the harvesting of planted-acacia blocks by PT SRL was sent by Greenomics Indonesia to the Environment and Forestry Ministry on last Thursday (Mar 31).

The report was also delivered to the Chief of the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency, as the license suspension represented a legal sanction imposed by the Indonesian government due to the involvement of this company in last year’s massive peat fires.