WWF´s recent Deforestation Front report shows that we are losing forests at an alarming rate: over 414,398.098 square kilometres, an area roughly the size of California, were lost in the deforestation fronts between 2004 and 2017. Two-thirds of global forest cover loss occurs in the tropic and subtropic regions of the world.
Many of these forests have disappeared to make place for the production of commodities like pulp & paper and packaging. This is particularly the case in Indonesia, once one of the richest and most diverse tropical natural forests in the world. Pulp, paper and packaging production is still a significant driver of deforestation, forest degradation, and social conflicts in several countries.
WWF believes that all companies in the supply chain from forest managers, processors, traders, and buyers, should be responsible for their business and use their power to halt deforestation and forest degradation. WWF supports as sustainable transition of the sector by offering recommendations on buyers and investor´s sourcing policies.
Since the early 2000s, WWF and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been closely monitoring the impacts of deforestation caused by pulp and paper companies in Indonesia, founding Eyes on the Forest to investigate those companies in the sector that are clearing forests and grabbing land in Indonesia. In particular, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a subsidiary of the Sinar Mas Group (SGM), and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), a subsidiary of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group, have been found to be continuously involved in illegal logging practices, human rights violations and corruption for land expansion.
WWF has engaged with the two company groups and their stakeholders including buyers and investors, following their pledge to stopping deforestation and addressing their legacy but the companies haven´t made any progress on their commitments to date.
Among WWF´s key demands are to remedy, restore and conserve important forest and peat landscapes, and compensate local people who have been affected by their operations.
WWF has been issuing recommendations and advisories to pulp and paper buyers and investors of APP/SMG and RGE/APRIL as a way to turn the tide of deforestation by both company groups. In addition, WWF launched a specific SMG/APP advisory and RGE/APRIL advisory for the buyers and investors of these companies and continues to monitor and report on any further violations and increased deforestation activities.