Environmentalists Blame Indonesian Company Harming Rainfores

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An Indonesian pulp company is under fire for causing environmental harm. Environmentalists say Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, owned by the Sinar Mas group, is undermining government efforts on climate change. The group is also blaming some of APP's larger customers for buying the company's products.

On Tuesday, environmental activist group Greenpeace condemned Indonesian agribusiness giant Sinar Mas for harming the rainforest, and urged major retailers to stop buying their products.

[Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Campaigner]: (gender male, Bahasa Indonesia)
"In principle we have always encouraged all companies to take responsibility for the environment and society."

In a report entitled “How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet,” released on Tuesday, Greenpeace says it has proof that the firm did not intend to fulfill a promise to source its wood from plantations alone after 2009.

It goes on to say that APP was intending to raise its pulp mills capacity sevenfold in Indonesia.

Greenpeace says the company was aiming to expand into forests that shelter endangered Sumatran tigers, as well as into deep, carbon-rich peatlands.

But an APP sustainability spokeswoman says she was not aware of any plans to increase production to that level.

Greenpeace also pointed the finger at Sinar Mas customers, including Walmart and Carrefour.

[Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Campaigner]: (gender male, Bahasa Indonesia)
"And we also identified several firms involved in forest destruction by buying the product from this company."

But several top palm oil buyers, including Unilever and Nestle, have said they will stop buying from Sinar Mas.

Preservation of rainforests and peatlands, which trap huge amounts of greenhouse gases, is seen as key to preventing dangerous climate change.

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