Greenpeace names and shames

2010-07-06 16:24

Jakarta – Major foreign firms like Walmart and KFC are contributing to forest destruction and the loss of species like Sumatran tigers by buying from Indonesian paper giant Sinar Mas, Greenpeace said on Tuesday.

It said Sinar Mas subsidiary Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) was "relentlessly trashing rainforests" and driving species to extinction in the Southeast Asian archipelago.

"Sinar Mas's sustainability commitments' are not worth the paper they are written on and some of the world's best known brands are literally pulping the planet by buying from them," Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said in a statement.

A Greenpeace report called "How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet" accuses major international companies of being complicit in the rampant destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and carbon-rich peat-lands by buying from APP.

It accused Sinar Mas of illegal logging in sensitive areas on Sumatra island, where lowland forests have been decimated by years of deforestation.

Defence against climate change

One of the areas, the Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape, is home to endangered Sumatran tigers and orangutans.

The other area, Kerumutan, is covered in peat-lands which are a "key defence against climate change" because they lock in carbon that is released into the atmosphere when the forest cover is removed by logging, Greenpeace said.

"Some of the forest's peat is deeper than three metres and thus illegal to clear under Indonesian law," Greenpeace said.

"Sinar Mas's paper arm APP uses the logs from these rainforest areas to feed its Sumatran based pulp mills, which export pulp and paper products worldwide."

The destruction of rainforests and peatlands is the main reason Indonesia is considered the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.