Greenpeace disowns paper giant over deforestation allegations

Greenpeace disowns paper giant over deforestation allegations

JAKARTA — Recent findings of deforestation by two companies with ties to the Sinar Mas Group and its pulp and paper arm, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), have led Greenpeace to end its engagement with the Indonesian conglomerate. According to a new mapping analysis by Greenpeace, 80 square kilometers (30 square miles) of forests and peatlands, an area half the size of Washington DC, has been cleared since 2013 in two concessions that are linked to the paper giant. Greenpeace said this finding had put APP’s commitment to end deforestation in jeopardy. “The group failed to provide a credible response or to take meaningful action,” the NGO said in a statement. “As a result, Greenpeace has ended all further engagement with APP/Sinar Mas.” APP denied the allegations and said it regrets Greenpeace’s decision, saying that it might actually harm the company’s progress in implementing its zero-deforestation policy. “APP is disappointed by the statement released by Greenpeace today,” APP said in a statement. APP and Greenpeace have had a tumultuous relationship, with both locking horns for two decades over the company’s vast clearance of rainforest and peatland on the island of Sumatra. In 2013, APP under pressure from Greenpeace and other NGOs, pledged to stop clearing forests and peatlands. The policy also committed to resolving conflicts over land with local communities. The policy promised a major shift for Indonesia’s forestry sector, so much so that it turned Greenpeace from APP’s adversary into its ally, with the NGO suspending its campaign against…

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