Paper Tiger: RAN Featured in Must-See Expose on Indonesian Logging

share this story
facebook twitter email stumble upon
Get Forest Alerts
Screen shot of Foreign Correspondent Piece "Paper Tiger"

Click Image to watch RAN's Lafcadio Cortesi on ABC's program "Paper Tiger" on Foreign Correspondent

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has just aired a damning exposé called “Paper Tiger” about the devastating deforestation caused by the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia. The program is called Foreign Correspondent and it is a sort of Aussie 60 Minutes.

The piece features compelling footage of logging giant APRIL mowing down vast expanses of Sumatra’s primary rainforests and creating an “ecological Armageddon” in order to feed their paper mill in Riau, which is the largest such mill in the world.

RAN forest campaigner Lafcadio Cortesi and I spent a half day with the ABC film crew when we were in Sumatra last month. Quotes from Laf’s extensive interview with them are featured throughout the program.

This great investigative piece includes emotional pleas from lifelong farmers about to lose their land to APRIL’s clear cut logging and shows motion detector camera shots of critically endangered Sumatran tigers just days before their habitat was bulldozed for a paper plantation. It documents both government corruption and explosions of violence resulting from the social conflict surrounding APRIL’s forest destruction. This maddening footage is interspersed with snippets of blatant greenwashing and callous disregard from APRIL’s Director of Operations, David Kerr.

Lafcadio explains the carbon implications of logging peatlands to ABC film crew

The show is a half hour long, but it makes for gripping viewing and offers a strong introduction into the urgent forest crisis underway in Indonesia. I wrote a blog post about this portion of our trip entitled “A Rainforest Apocalypse? People, Peat And Promises For A New Direction“.

Watch the exposé here. You can also read some uplifting news about Indonesia in my post entitled “From the Field: Inspirational Agroforestry at the Corner of Nature.”

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Peter Souvatzis says:

    To Mr Laurel Suthertin

    I have found it most distressing to see the unbridled devastation and outright environmental vandalism of the Indonesian Rain/Old Growth forests by that greedy and profit driven APP Asian Pulp & Paper Mill who works with organisations like Solaris to sell their vile products to overseas companies like IGA and Office works (Australia) who then pass it on to unsuspecting customers who buy these paper based products not knowing that they are unwittingly perpetuation the destruction of these forests, and their inhabitants (Sumatran Tigers, Orang-utans, Gibbons etc.). This has to be stopped, companies like APP and Solaris must be closed down, I know that they provide jobs for locals, but these people can be better employed by the local government in some sort of conservation work i.e. regrowing the destroyed parts of the forests and also be employed in the tourist industry, something the government of Indonesia could market more aggressively. I can assure you the environmental concern is a growing concern to more and more of the world’s population.
    There would be more profit in conservation and tourism as there are many, many folks who would pay to see the forests and catch a glimpse of some of its inhabitant’s rather than seeing a wasteland.
    This could and would be a continual source of revenue to both the Indonesian Government and the locals who would be employed in the tourism industry. Think about it, there is no long term or sustainable gain in destroying your own house, once its gone it’s gone.

    Please pass this email on if it can beof some use and help to the protection and conservation of the Indonesian forests and its wild life particularly the Sumartran Tiger.

    With respect and regards
    Peter Souvatzis

  2. Russell Langfield says:

    Come and share the same pathetic experience here in Tasmania where they are also trying to get one of these un-profitable and unsustainable polluting mega-monstrosities built in the wake of World Heritage Old Growth Native Forest clear-felling, burning and conversion to exotic mono-species plantations at the expense of water, soil fertility and the natural flora and fauna biodiversity including the near extinction of the Tasmanian Devil, Wedge Tailed Eagles, Giant Freshwater Crayfish and many many more.

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.