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FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2009

Journalists Detained by Indonesia's Biggest Forest Destroyer

Sinar Mas Group, one of Indonesia’s largest business cartel’s and, between its holdings in the pulp and paper and oil palm sectors, perhaps the nation’s biggest forest destroyer, has once again proven that it operates outside responsible business norms by detaining journalists in the Sumatran province of Jambi. In fact, given its atrocious record on ecosystem destruction, human rights abuse, skirting laws and cooking  the climate, this is a company that its customers, investors  and business associates should avoid.  Already Office Depot, Staples and Corporate Express have cancelled hundreds of millions of dollars of contracts with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) one of Sinar Mas’s largest subsidiaries. In a story that came out today about the detention of three Journalists by APP, it’s interesting to see how the threads of the palm oil and pulp and paper sectors – the leading drivers of forest destruction in Indonesia - weave together. It appears that the journalists detained were investigating and filming allegedly illegal natural forest conversion in sites proposed to become both monoculture oil palm and pulp and paper plantations. From these cleared forests, the fiber goes to Asian Pulp and Paper’s Lontar Papyrus paper mill, then it comes in the form of luxury brand paper shopping bags, toilet paper, copy paper and envelopes to a store near you.

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