© WWF Indonesia
History of deforestation SMG/APP

Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp and Paper (SMG/APP) started their forestry and mill operations respectively in 1984. Since the early years, SMG/APP has been criticized by researchers and NGOs for its legally questionable land grabbing and deforestation activities, and their negative impact on the nature and local communities. After a few decades of deforestation, APP committed to no longer clear natural forest and restore ecosystems. Yet, implementation has been slow and has not stopped deforestation in the concessions. SMG/APP has converted to pulp more than 2 million hectares of natural forest in Indonesia since its first mill (Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper) started to operate more than 30 years ago.
In 2021, SGM/APP remains one of the few companies that are disassociated by FSC.



Starts pulp production in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia.



In 1996, starts pulp production in Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia. Despite promises to start pulping plantation fiber exclusively by 2004, 2007 and 2009, APP’s deforestation rate in its main wood sourcing hub, Riau Province in Sumatra, does not slow significantly between 1995 and 2011. The only exception is a short period between 2007-2009 when Indonesian authorities are investigating alleged illegal logging activities caused by the company, including by APP´s wood suppliers.



Forest Stewardship Council dissociates from APP. 


2011 onwards

Company deforestation slows for the sole reason that there is very little natural forest left to cut. 


February 2013

Company commits to no longer clear any natural forest and installs a moratorium of natural forest clearance and peat development until an independent assessment of HCV (High Conservation Value) and HCS (High Carbon Stock) is complete and incorporated to develop new management plans.


April 2014

Company declares its intention to restore and support conservation of one million hectares of natural forest and other ecosystems in Sumatra and Kalimantan, which WWF cautiously welcomed.


February 2015

Rainforest Alliance audit of APP released, showing that APP has done extensive audits and planning but not much has changed on the ground.


August 2015

Announcement of the retirement of 7000 ha of peatland. This covers 0.5% of the area APP suppliers currently operate on peat in Sumatra and Kalimantan.



APP´s new mill - the world’s biggest - starts to operate in South Sumatra. A study by WWF-Indonesia and other NGO´s shows that the US$2.6 billion project expands APP's wood demand by over 50%, raising serious questions over APP’s commitment to its zero-deforestation commitment. 



FSC initiates a process to develop a roadmap that aims to end its disassociation from APP and establishes a Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) with members from environmental NGOs including WWF Indonesia, social NGOs, a workers’ union and companies.


May 2018

Greenpeace announces that it has ended its agreement with APP following an investigation by the Associated Press into the company’s destruction of forests.

A group of Indonesian NGOs called Anti Forest Mafia Coalition, including WWF, releases a report "Removing the Corporate Mask," assessing the ownership and management structures of APP´s declared wood suppliers in Indonesia. This brings to light the structure of APP and Sinar Mas, which has been used by APP to deny its responsibility in a case of deforestation recently raised by Greenpeace that also led the organisation to stop all engagements with the company.

NGOs and media allegations pushes FSC to send an ultimatum to APP in May 2018, demanding “a full disclosure by June 11 of Asia Pulp & Paper’s corporate structure including its wood suppliers, shell companies and offshore companies and their true ownership; and disclosure by June 11 of any other violations of the council’s standards”.


August 2018

The Anti Forest Mafia Coalition, which includes WWF Indonesia, published a report revealing that two APP suppliers in East Kalimantan, PT. Fajar Surya Swadaya (FSS) and PT. Silva Rimba Lestari of Djarum Group, cleared nearly 32,000 hectares of natural forest in violation of APP’s Forest Conservation Policy.

FSC announces its decision to suspend the process it had started in early 2017 to design a roadmap to end its disassociation from APP. APP’s failure to meet these demands pushed FSC to suspend the process “while it awaits further information from APP related to its corporate structure and alleged unacceptable forest management activities by companies thought to be related to APP”.


January 2019

SMG/APP announces that it is developing a new pulp and paper mill in India with the capacity of 5 million tons of pulp per year which will require millions of hectares of plantation or natural forest to be cleared. Expanding pulp-tree plantations in India would represent a direct threat to local food security and to the remaining fragments of natural forest.


April 2019

The Anti Forest Mafia Coalition, which includes WWF-Indonesia, publishes a joint report highlighting that SMG/APP finally confirmed recent allegations by NGOs and the media that the group has continued to be involved in deforestation, peatland destruction and fires even after they had committed to zero deforestation in 2013.


Additional info about APP/APRIL



Natural forests pulped by APP


That APP has committed to restore or support conservation