Global Green Groups Release Performance Milestones to Evaluate Progress of Asia Pulp and Paper Deforestation Pledge

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Environmental Paper Network Collaboration Involving Rainforest Action Network, WWF, Greenpeace and Indonesian NGOs Presents ‘Performance Milestones’ to Business Community, Other stakeholders, via Live Webinar

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These milestones reflect the importance civil society places on ending the destruction of Indonesian rainforests for paper production and the importance of respecting community rights. - Aidil Fitri, of Wahana Bumi Hijau

The Environmental Paper Network programs in Europe and North America today released seven “Performance Milestones” necessary to verify the implementation of the commitments made by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) under the company’s Sustainability Roadmap - Vision 2020 and latest Forest Conservation Policy. The Performance Milestones and their auditing will help customers and investors determine whether APP effectively implements its policy commitments and can help guide action by other pulp/paper companies in Indonesia and elsewhere. The Environmental Paper Network is urging customers to insist on independent third party auditing to verify the implementation of APP commitments and the performance milestones released today.

An online event to introduce the Performance Milestones will be held today, Thursday, September 19th. This webinar will broadcast at 11:00 AM in New York and 10:00 PM in Jakarta and include speakers from Wahana Bumi Hijau, Rainforest Action Network, WWF and Greenpeace. Space is limited.

Indonesia's rainforests are some of the most biologically diverse forests on the planet. They provide livelihoods to millions of people, they sustain the last habitats of Sumatran elephant, tiger, rhino and orang-utan, and their peat bogs sequester a massive amount of carbon. These forests however have been experiencing one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation to develop industrial plantations for commodities such as palm oil and pulp and paper.

For many years, APP has been criticized for its extensive clearance of tropical forests in Sumatra and Borneo, many of which were located on deep peat bogs and/or were habitat of critically endangered tigers, orang-utan, and elephants. The deforestation led to numerous conflicts with local and indigenous communities whose tenure rights were ignored. After 30 years of operation, APP announced a Sustainability Roadmap – Vision 2020 and first steps for its implementation in a new Forest Conservation Policy (FCP).

“The Performance Milestones presented today were collaboratively developed by a group of civil society member organizations of the Environmental Paper Network as a tool to help paper purchasers seeking socially and environmentally responsible sources and other stakeholders who are interested in credible evaluations of APP’s practices against its commitments,” said Joshua Martin, Director at Environmental Paper Network.

“These milestones reflect the importance civil society places on ending the destruction of Indonesian rainforests for paper production and the importance of respecting community rights. They can help to measure pulp and paper industry performance in Indonesia and beyond,” said Aidil Fitri, of Wahana Bumi Hijau, an Indonesian NGO based in South Sumatra.”

“If properly improved and implemented, APP’s commitments would be a significant step forward for the company,” said Sergio Baffoni, of the European Environmental Paper Network. “However APP must also take action to address the legacy of its extensive impact on forests, peatlands and local communities in Indonesia.”

The Environmental Paper Networks, including the EPN-North America and EPN-Europe, are a collaboration of 122 not-for profit, civil society organizations from 26 countries including Indonesia who share a Common Vision for a future where paper is produced and used sustainably.

To download the Performance Milestones and register for the webinar go to http://environmentalpaper.org/milestones/

Media Contacts:         

                        Sergio Baffoni, +49 (0) 162 3812528
            Joshua Martin, +1 828 251 8558 x1
            Aidil Fitri, +62 (0)8127110385

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