Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Asia Pulp & Paper threatens the Habitat of Sumatran Orangutan

Press Release

To be published on July 15, 2009

Asia Pulp & Paper threatens the Habitat of Sumatran Orangutan

More than a hundred of Sumatran Orangutan in Bukit Tigapuluh area, in Tebo, Jambi province is in great danger. Paper company Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) suppliers -- which are also its subsidiaries – PT Wira Karya Sejati (PT WKS) and PT Rimba Hutan Mas (PT RHM), have developed a corridor road in the forests area which are the natural habitat of Sumatran Orangutans, Tigers, and Elephants, three endangered animals specific to Indonesia.

The 82-kilometer road was built right in the middle of roaming areas of the three endangered species and very close to the release area of Sumatran Orangutans which had been established long before the presence of the company. Orangutans have been released into the wild years earlier.

The road has opened a wide access to illegal loggers and hunters. PT RHM dan PT WKS have let the loggers to open the forest and remove the villagers afterward just to confiscate the logs cut by the villagers to be made into pulp. What the companies have conducted were illegal activities.

“Our investigation team’s report and pictures we owned show their loaded trucks transporting illegal timber,” said Sadewa, Orangutan Campaigner from the Centre for Orangutan Protection.

Sadewa also said that APP should not have built the road since the investigation result of COP team, local NGOs in Jambi and the public have all pointed out that the company could have used the road of HPH (forest concession right) which has proven its strengths – it has been used to transport HPH timber much bigger than those transported on the corridor road slashing the forest.

“The corridor road has threatened the habitat of Sumatran Orangutans. Distance of the road to the release area is about 5 to 7 kilometers, which is the roaming distance of Orangutans. These companies do their business despicably, destroying the forests and threatening the lives of endangered species,” Sadewa added.

COP’s investigation team also found that the study of environemental impact analysis of those two companies had been conducted without professional study analysis. In the Guidance Frame of Environmental Impact Analysis (KA-ANDAL) the fact that the area is natural habitat of Sumatran Elephants and Sumatran Orangutans including research and Orangutan reintroducing station of run by the Frankfurt Zoologial Society (FZS).

“The government has to cancel the recommendation and principle permit for Asia Pulp and Paper and its suppliers in the area. The government, particularly the Ministry of Forestry, has to take a serious approach toward this case. The Bukit Tigapuluh area has a high value of conservacy and has to be protected from threats coming from factories that produce tissues and paper products you use everyday in your house and office,” stressed Sadewa.