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Complainant Name:
Asia Pulp & Paper

Clauses Noted: 1, 2

Publication: The Times

Complaint:

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article about the company - and in particular its environmental record - contained a number of inaccuracies and that it had not been given a suitable opportunity to reply.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter from the company:

In his article "The rainforest paper trail that leads to Tesco" (July 5) Ben Webster made a number of claims about Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) which we entirely reject.

The article stated that APP is "destroying thousands of hectares of Indonesian rainforest". This accusation is without foundation. APP's suppliers operate pulpwood plantations on concessions granted by the government of Indonesia. Only 3% of Indonesia's total landmass is set aside for pulpwood plantation development, consisting of land that is defined as wasteland and low value or ‘degraded ‘forest. The article suggests that ‘degraded forest' has no meaning and is open to interpretation; however, this is a term understood in Indonesian law and is clearly defined.

Further, APP has a strict no illegal wood policy, which it imposes on its pulpwood suppliers. We are continuously audited by independent third parties with respect to all national and international environmental standards.

The article claimed APP was "threatening the habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger". The opposite is true. In 2006, APP was one of the prime movers behind the establishment of the vast Senepis Sumatran Tiger Sanctuary in Northern Riau province. By setting aside 106,000 hectares of production forest as the core area of the tiger sanctuary, APP's pulpwood suppliers are making a vital contribution to the survival of this endangered species.

Date Published: 15/12/2010



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