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NZ Company in Indonesian rainforest destruction

Auckland, 27 November 2009 – A second New Zealand company has been exposed for its role in Indonesian rainforest destruction.

Spicers Paper New Zealand has been linked with Sinar Mas which Greenpeace has labelled as one of the leading forest and climate destroyer in Indonesia.

Earlier this year Fonterra was implicated in the palm industry’s clearing and burning of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for palm plantations which provide products including palm-based animal feed used on New Zealand dairy farms.

Greenpeace New Zealand communications manager Suzette Jackson, who was working In Indonesia earlier this month to stop deforestation, said it was appalling that two New Zealand companies had been identified as aiding rainforest destruction within the last few months.

“Fonterra and Spicers represent themselves as being sustainable when obviously they are not.”

Greenpeace forests campaigner Grant Rosoman said it was disappointing that Spicers continued to stock papers from suppliers involved in forest and climate destruction as, in the past decade, it had been a leader in the reform of the paper sector.

"Spicers must stop buying paper from Sinar Mas owned Asia Pulp and Paper and its rival APRIL until they halt their expansion into forest and peatland areas. Spicers also needs to set out an ambitious time bound plan to source environmentally and socially responsible virgin fibre that can be guaranteed through credible independent certification to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.”

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Greenpeace yesterday ended a 27-hour dramatic non-violent direct action at the loading facility of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). The activity, undertaken by activists from 11 different nationalities, including Indonesia and the USA successfully focused international attention on the critical role that President Yudhoyono and other world Heads of State can play in ending tropical deforestation to avert climate chaos.

“Ten days ahead of the critical climate summit in Copenhagen, President Yudhoyono has a unique chance to make history by declaring an immediate moratorium on all deforestation and exhibiting the kind of leadership that even the Nobel Prize winning Obama has so far failed to show,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director ῖon Hernandez.

Two weeks Greenpeace took action against Indonesia’s other large pulp and paper mill APRIL to expose the continued destruction of fragile peatlands of Kampar peninsula on the Island of Sumatra. (1) Last week, the Indonesia’s Forest Minister, Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, suspended APRIL’s logging license pending a review of the its permits. (2)

Indonesia is the world's third largest climate polluter after China and the US, mainly as a result of the ongoing destruction of its forests and their peat soils. Globally, a million hectares of forests are destroyed every month - that is an area the size of a football pitch every two seconds.

Notes to the editor:

(1) Combined, APRIL and APP control 73% of Indonesia’s total pulp capacity and own two of the world’s largest pulp mills.
(2) http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE5AP01620091126

For a map and photographic evidence of current active clearing of peatland forest by APP please go here: http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/id/photosvideos/photos/APP-clearing

For further information please see: http://www.greenpeace.org/climatedefenders

ENDS

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