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Rainforest conservation success, so far

By Dave Armstrong - 29 Apr 2014 12:32:0 GMT
Rainforest conservation success, so far

This young tiger has somewhere to play safely, but very few of the critically-endangered Sumatran tigers have any habitat left as they are squeezed out by vast logging operations. Elephant, orang-utan and many smaller species are also approaching extinction, not simply the need to adapt or move! Tiger image; Credit: © Shutterstock

The Asian Pulp and Paper Company is one of the most criticised of Indonesia's logging agencies. It's also just about the world's biggest paper company. To commit to a protection zone for forests is big of them but there are still doubts about the effectiveness of its own proposals. 1million hectares of Indonesian forest would be full of orang-utan, elephant and every other denizen of one of the most prolific ecosystems on earth.

The effect of a buffer zone would not enable movement for large species so that they could breed and conserve genetic resources over a big enough area. Design of the proposed zone would have to be a carefully-constructed large sector unconnected with the company's desire to facilitate their transport or other operations. After all, they can and have adapted to "jungle." The habitat cannot be expected to adapt to human greed. APP has suggested the popular wildlife corridor in at least 9 areas of the nation, as a means of elephant or tiger dispersal, and this is commendable.

APP use 1 million hectares of forest up every year, however. Despite the key to success suggested by Aida Greenbury, "managing director of sustainability," the actual key may be how much money is spent on her sustained efforts to protect both her natural forest in the concessions and her company's profits. Greenpeace could be guaranteed to criticise the effort, but only suggests it is too limited. Perhaps the beleaguered Indonesian National Parks of Gunung Merbabu or Gunung Leuser should have more investment from their commercial predators of paper, mining and palm oil. Illegal plantations, the polluting forest fire-setting that spreads smoke at last as far as Singapore and the "bending" of licences and permits to encroach more and more on these National Parks are probably the greater evils.

Andy Tait of Greeenpeace approves of the positivity in this move. Understandably, "the failure by the other pulp and paper companies to stop their reliance on deforestation also badly undermines efforts to protect Indonesia's rainforests." He's right. APP must be applauded for this. They do need to consider their concessions as a natural resource that must not be used up however. Even basic replanting would help to reassure their worldwide customers that they are not buying into the end of the rainforest with their products. APP suffered from Greenpeace's previous efforts to inform customers such as Mattel Toys of the source of their paper products. One year on, the Greenpeace report is quite bright in - Forest Conservation Committment.

There again, this could simply be the knee-jerk to that hammer!

Greenpeace are working next on another logger. The paper group APRIL/RGE have very similar practices to APP. They continue to greenwash their forest destruction. Last week, they announced a so-called 'Sustainable Forest Management Policy', weeks after being threatened to be kicked out of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. So here we go again.