While Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) questionable financial dealings and destructive impact on rainforests and the climate have been widely reported, the human rights violations and social conflict associated with the company’s expropriation of community lands are less well known. Last week, RAN proudly joined with several Indonesian and international human rights and environmental organizations to send a letter to APP outlining the steps the company must take to address its human rights record and prevent further land grabs and rights violations.
Along with CAPPA, HuMa, WBH, Scale Up and Forest Peoples Programme, we sent the letter to outline the shortcomings in APP’s operations and to emphasize that the company must take responsibility for the social and environmental footprint associated with all the wood coming into its mills to make pulp and paper. While the company has recently taken some tentative steps in the right direction, they must make urgent and far-reaching changes to the way they do business in order to remedy previous and prevent further disastrous environmental and human rights impacts. To quote the letter:
At a general level, we urge that APP inform its direct (“owned”) and indirect (“independent”) suppliers that it will stop purchasing from any suppliers that:
• Do not respect the rights of affected communities to the ownership and control of their titled and customary lands and to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to proposed developments on their lands as expressed through their own freely chosen representatives;
• Have failed to resolve social conflict and human rights violations with affected communities to the mutual satisfaction of affected parties;
• Evict communities with land claims in concessions and consider CSR activities as adequate and final resolution of conflicts
• Do not place a moratorium on logging and natural forest clearance until High Conservation Values have been identified and maintained, and;
• Continue to clear and drain areas of peat soil or convert High Carbon Stock Forest
RAN has been working with leading businesses, civil society and local communities to get APP—which is one of the two biggest pulp and paper companies operating in Indonesia, along with Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL)—to own up to and change how it does business, and it must do so before going forward with its expansion plans. APP could use its position in the industry to effect real and positive change, which is exactly what we’re urging the company to do:
We ask that APP inform its suppliers that it will only be able to purchase wood from them if they follow the same human rights and environmental commitments that we suggest APP take on itself.
You can download the letter as as PDF, or read it here: