PAPIER UNION ist mitverantwortlich

05.05.2004

Pressemitteilung Roboin Wood 5. Mai 04 (Am Ende Breif von 50 Umweltgruppen an Papier Union)

Indonesische Umweltschützer klagen an: PAPIER UNION ist mitverantwortlich für Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Waldzerstörung
Das führende deutsche Papierhandelsunternehmen PAPIER UNION soll sofort seine Geschäfte mit dem Zellstoffkonzern APRIL abbrechen, der auf Sumatra für massive Waldzerstörung und Vertreibungen verantwortlich ist. Das forderten Vertreter indonesischer Umweltorganisationen im Gespräch mit PAPIER UNION, das vergangene Woche auf Initiative von ROBIN WOOD in Berlin stattfand. Um diese Forderung zu unterstützen, wandten sich heute 50 Umweltorganisationen aus aller Welt mit einem Offenen Brief an die Geschäftsführung des Papierunternehmens.

Longgena Ginting, Direktor des indonesischen Umweltforums Walhi, machte im Gespräch mit PAPIER UNION deutlich: "Wer Produkte von APRIL kauft, macht sich mitschuldig an Menschenrechtsverletzungen und an der Zerstörung unserer Wälder." Rivani Noor von der Allianz der Opfer der Zellstoffindustrie CAPPA war entrüstet über Äußerungen des Marketingdirektors David Wischmann. Dieser hatte erklärt, PAPIER UNION verfüge über keine schriftlich festgehaltenen Umwelt- und Sozialstandards für den Papiereinkauf, aber man habe volles Vertrauen in die Redlichkeit des Geschäftspartners APRIL.

"PAPIER UNION ist arrogant und glaubt blind dem Konzern, der unsere Umwelt zerstört. Unsere Argumente und Daten lehnt das Unternehmen ab oder zeigt sich gleichgültig", beklagt Noor. APRIL betreibt auf Sumatra eine der größten Zellstofffabriken der Welt und verbraucht rund sechs Millionen Kubikmeter Holz aus Naturwald jährlich. Kein anderes Land weltweit verliert so schnell so viel Wald wie Indonesien. Um dies zu stoppen, macht ROBIN WOOD Druck auf deutsche Unternehmen, die mit Regenwaldzerstörern zusammenarbeiten. Im vergangenen Jahr hatte daraufhin die Deutsche Post Papier von APRIL aus dem Sortiment genommen. PAPIER UNION jedoch ignoriert seit über einem Jahr die Forderungen von Umweltorganisationen, das Geschäft mit APRIL zu beenden und kauft weiter jährlich 15.000 Tonnen Papier der Marke "Paper One" des Konzerns.

Für die Produktion dieses Papiers verwandelt APRIL Jahrtausende alte Torfwälder, die Lebensraum des seltenen Sumatra-Tigers sind, in Monokulturen. "Durch sein starres Festhalten an der Kooperation mit APRIL hat PAPIER UNION schon jetzt erreicht, als abschreckendes Beispiel bei Umweltschützern auf der ganzen Welt bekannt zu werden", sagt Jens Wieting, Tropenwaldreferent von ROBIN WOOD. "Dieses Negativ-Image wird das Unternehmen nur durch einen konsequenten Wechsel der Einkaufspolitik wieder los werden."

Für Rückfragen: Peter Gerhardt, Jens Wieting, Tropenwaldreferat, Tel. 0160 / 96 34 72 27, tropenwald@robinwood.de Ute Bertrand, Pressesprecherin, Tel. 040 / 380 892 22, presse@robinwood.de
Ein aktueller Recherchebericht über die Zerstörung des Regenwaldes durch APRIL steht unter (www.robinwood.de/sumatrarecherche).
*** BRIEF DER UMWELTORGANISATIONEN AN PAPIER UNION
Rettet den Regenwald e.V.
Friedhofsweg 28
22337 Hamburg
Tel. +49- (0)40 - 4103804
Fax:+49- (0)40 - 4500144
info@regenwald.org
www.regenwald.org

Mr Arndt Klippgen
Papier Union Chief Executive Officer
Warburgstraße 28
20354 Hamburg
Fax: 040 - 41 17 52 75 05/05/2004

Re: Collaboration of Papier Union and APRIL
Dear Mr. Klippgen,
Despite severe and continuing criticism of the pulp and paper group APRIL from environmental organisations across the world on account of its ruthless forestry exploitation practices, your company is still doing business with the group, instead of rejecting the use of products obtained from the destruction of the rain forests. Only recently you repeated your position that Papier Union would "in future continue to maintain a critical and exacting dialogue in its relationship with APRIL".

The undersigned environmental organisations take the view that a leading German paper wholesaler that claims to use only raw materials deriving from sustainable forestry practices for its products, should not be purchasing from a company that is turning the last rain forest areas of Sumatra into timber plantations. As your company is no doubt aware, the bitter truth about APRIL´s activities is in fact extremely worrying. APRIL has already destroyed some 300,000 hectares of tropical forest and is planning to eradicate a further 200,000 hectares of tropical forest by 2009, in order to run the biggest pulp factory in the world at full capacity. APRIL has driven local people from their land and hired bands of thugs who have intimidated the local population.

The owner of APRIL, Sukanto Tanoto, is implicated in financial scandals such as the bankruptcy of Unibank, which caused 230 million dollars of damage to the Indonesian state, thus robbing his own country. Furthermore, APRIL´s activities take place in a country where the destruction of the forests is now out of control as a result of political inaction, and where the last lowland rain forest will have disappeared within a few years - by 2005 in Sumatra, according to the World Bank. APRIL replaces the devastated forest with acacia plantations. Papier Union has confirmed this: "According to current information around 35 % of APRIL´s total timber requirement comes from acacia plantations." Around two thirds of APRIL´s raw materials therefore derive from valuable natural forests.

According to information provided by your company, since March 2003 Papier Union has only sourced its paper from APRIL plantation timber on state forestry concessions. At first sight that may satisfy your company´s environmentally conscious customers. In reality, however, the concessions referred to were peddled off to business friends and relations by the responsible political figures during the Suharto era. Your claim that APRIL no longer sources timber from the Tesso Nilo, an area which is characterised by a particularly wide variety of species, is also misleading, since this area continues to be devastated by unlicensed loggers, who then remove their illegal timber on roads maintained by APRIL.

The group is now sourcing its raw material from other equally valuable and sensitive rain forest areas: the peat forest in the Riau lowland. The Indonesian peat forests are up to 20,000 years old, grow on peat layers up to 18 metres deep and contain up to 120 tree species per hectare. In the last 1-2 years APRIL has destroyed around 50,000 hectares of peat forest in the Pelalawan concession through its clearing activities. This practice of the group infringes Indonesian laws (PP7, 1990, SK 162, 2003, SK 200, 1994, PP 47 1997) that prohibit the conversion of productive forest into plantation, as well as any logging of forest areas with a peat layer of more than three metres because of the danger of forest fire. An investigation of species diversity by the University of Bogor found that this area contained amongst other species the Sumatra tiger, five species of monkey, at least 78 bird species and seven protected tree species (e.g. Ramin).

Through the construction of an 800 km canal network, the group has drained a large area of an ecosystem that is at great risk of fire in dry periods. As Papier Union should be aware in its role as a supposedly "critical" partner, APRIL has withheld the results of the Bogor investigation from the public. There is evidence that APRIL wishes to eradicate a further 50,000 hectares of neighbouring peat forest. In general we see little chance that your company can, through adopting a "critical relationship", exercise a positive influence on a group that intends to maintain its production for years to come through the destruction of tropical forests. APRIL doesn´t intend to cut back production but to expand it - and that in the country with the fastest rate of forest destruction in the world, where even now there are insufficient raw materials to satisfy the demands of those industries requiring timber.

We therefore urge Papier Union to end its collaboration with APRIL immediately and to stop buying products from this company until it ceases further clearing of natural forests, respects community rights to land, including restoration of lands taken from the community without their free and informed consent, and controls all illegal and destructive activities associated with its operations.

We shall continue to inform the German public, specifically in the area of paper use, of the catastrophic consequences for the people and the natural environment of Sumatra that are associated with the purchase of paper from APRIL production.

Yours sincerely

Reinhard Behrend
Rettet den Regenwald e.V.

Longgena Ginting
WALHI - Friends of the Earth Indonesia

Peter Gerhardt
Robin Wood e.V., Bereich Tropenwald

Sandra Pfotenhauer
Campaignerin Wald, Greenpeace e.V.

Rivani Noor Machdjoeri
Community Alliance for Pulp Paper Advocacy (CAPPA), Indonesia

Alexander Markovski
Student Protection Organization of Karelia (SPOK), Russia

Andrey Laletin
Friends of the Siberian Forests (FSF), Russia

Rully Syumanda
WALHI Riau, Indonesia

Greg Higgs
Forest Action Network, Canada

Jutta Kill
FERN, UK

Valerie Vauthier
Resource Extraction Monitor (REM), UK

Hanna Østby
Stub Natur og Ungdom, Norway

Matti Ikonen
Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Finland

Chris Lang, Germany

Tove Selin
Finnish ECA Reform Campaign, Finland

Jim Ford
ForestEthics, USA

Hanne Brown
Rainforest Foundation, Norway

Alexander Dubynin
Siberian Environmental Center, Russia

Larry Lohmann
The Corner House UK

Mandy Haggith
worldforests Scotland

Sylvia Franssen
FERN Belgium

Rudy Lumuru
Sawit-Watch, Indonesia

Bernhard Henselmann
EarthLink, Germany

Warren Barry
Ashopenace Grassy Narrows First Nation, Canada

Feja Lesniewska
British Rusian Eco-cultural Network UK

Solveig Firing
Lunde Natur og Ungdom Norway

Otto Miettinen
Friends of the Earth Finland Finland

Dmitry Aksenov
Socio-Ecological Union Russia

Irina Zaytseva
KBCC Russia

Bill Ritchie
worldforests Scotland

Saskia Ozinga
FERN The Netherlands

Hanna Matinpuro
Finnish Association for Nature Conservation Finland

Nils Hermann
Ranum Rainforest Foundation Norway Norway

Lydia Bartz
urgewald Germany

Hermann Edelmann
Pro Regenwald

Wolfgang Kuhlmann
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Regenwald und Artenschutz

Klemens Laschefski
BUND

Markus Schneider-Johnen, Eine-Welt-Promotor
Eine-Welt-Forum Mönchengladbach e.V.

John Künzli
Verein für die Völker des Regenwaldes, Bruno-Manser-Fonds, Basel Ewald

Lorenz-Haggenmüller
Weltladen Kempten - für Eine Welt e.V.

Günther Peter
Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz (AgA)

Jupp Trauth
forum ökologie & papier

Heinz Peter Vetten
MANDACARU - Menschen leisten Widerstand

Julia Ratzmann
Pazifik-Informationsstelle

Martin Hirte
Arbeitskreis Lebensstile/Eine Welt der AGENDA 21-Gruppe

Herrsching, Elisabeth
Kreuz Indienhilfe e.V.

Alexandra Prinz
Naturschutzjugend im LBV

Bernhard Lohr
Faszination Regenwald e.V.

Heinrich Kattenbeck
Bund Naturschutz, Kreisgruppe Forchheim

Boris Thiemig
BOS Deutschland e.V., Primaten helfen Primaten.

Dr. Sandra Altherr
Pro Wildlife e. V., München

Bärbel Wallner
"Für Frauen in Flores e.V."