Greenpeace is concerned about the negative impact on the Boreal Forest in Saskatchewan that will result from the sale of Domtar’s Prince Albert mill to a subsidiary of Asia Pulp Paper (APP). APP’s subsidiary Paper Excellence has been on a buying spree, scooping up prime Canadian pulp assets in British Columbia and Saskatchewan and shipping jobs offshore. The majority of the pulp produced by the company’s other three mills is shipped to China for processing into paper products.
Greenpeace Canada forest coordinator Richard Brooks issued a statement today, saying, “It is a great concern that Canadian mills are being bought up by Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the most destructive logging and pulp and paper companies operating anywhere. APP is the primary contributor to making Indonesia the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. We urge the Saskatchewan and federal governments to investigate APP which has been involved in illegal logging and deforestation in Indonesia for decades and continues to be involved in conflicts with local communities there. APP is also a debt-ridden company. Do we want that kind of company as a major player in Canada’s forest products sector?”
Richard Brooks is available for interviews at (416) 573-7209
Background provided by Greenpeace:
The destruction of rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands is the key reason for why Indonesia accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. The palm oil and pulp and paper industry are the two major drivers of these escalating emissions. The endangered orang-utan and Sumatran tiger are just two of the species under threat of extinction due to habitat loss caused by Asia Pulp and Paper.
Asia Pulp and Paper, the ‘family treasure’ of the Sinar Mas Group and the notorious Widjaja family, defaulted on more than $14 billion of debt during the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s. It was saved by suspicious government financed ‘restructuring’. At the end of 2009, APP’s Indonesian mills still owed $4.2 billion of restructured debt.
Major forest products companies Office Depot, Staples, Xerox, Ricoh, and Target have all cancelled contracts with APP over risks to their brands of using APP products and over APP’s links to deforestation. APP is subject to a global campaign by Greenpeace and other environmental organizations.
Learn more about how Sinar Mas Group is “Pulping the Planet.”