World Rainforest Movement

APP and Cartiere Pigna try to intimidate social denounces in Italy of deforestation in Indonesia

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is a giant pulp and paper company with a notorious eco-criminal record. It is responsible of deforesting Indonesian forests and peatlands in Riau province, Sumatra, destroying the territory and livelihoods of indigenous communities who have been living there for centuries and threatening the survival of some of them as well as leading Sumatran tigers, elephants and orangutans to the verge of extinction. On top of that APP has been causing the emission of millions of  tons of greenhouse gas liberated from the clearance of peat forests that once the soil is drained it oxidizes. As a result Indonesia occupies the third place (behind China and the U.S.) of greenhouse gas emitters.All this destruction serves the purpose of supplying wood to markets mainly in Northern countries.

Aware that consumption is equally responsible for the state of forests, forest people and global climate, last year the Italian environmental organization Terra! exposed the link between the Italian paper manufacturer Cartiere Pigna and the deforestation of Indonesian rainforests carried out by APP (http://www.terraonlus.it/en/forests/274-pigna-foreste and http://www.terraonlus.it/en/forests/314-cartiere-pigna-legate-al-colosso-cartario-asiatico-app).

Cartiere Pigna’s reaction was to deny any link with the Indonesian company APP and to sue Terra! for slander and damages to its corporate reputation. Terra! produced not only details of billing documents that prove that Pigna is a customer of APP but also test results (via IPS testing) proving that Pigna’s products contain fibres coming from tropical deforestation (mixed tropical hardwood) and from plantations related to deforestation (acacia).

Despite Pigna had to admit it was a customer of APP, due to technicalities and convoluted laws Terra! was convicted for having told the truth and sentenced to pay €20,000 plus expenses, thereby putting the association at risk of closure.

Behind Pigna, APP is trying to intimidate any critical voice and this sets a very dangerous precedent for the social groups and movements as well as the civil society as a whole who has to watch every corporate activity that puts in peril the whole world.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *