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SE Asian Timber Industry Talking About All The Good Things They're Doing

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:22 PM
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SE Asian Timber Industry Talking About All The Good Things They're Doing


The annual illegal burn-off in Indonesia, which officials have been accused of doing little to stop, sees acrid smoke billow across the region, with Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand usually worst affected. This week, the haze had also spread 3,600 kilometres (2,250 miles) to smother islands in the western Pacific.

But giant companies like Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd. (APRIL) and Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), among the world's biggest pulp and paper producers, say they are committed to fighting the fires -- even though their plantations keep expanding. "We use only mechanical methods to clear the land," said Brad Senders, APRIL fire, safety and aviation manager. "We don't want to contribute to the smoke and haze." Both companies have their headquarters in Singapore and are part of powerful conglomerates -- Sinar Mas for APP, Raja Garuda Mas for APRIL -- controlled by tycoons.

Sukanto Tanoto, boss of Raja Garuda Mas, which has interests in palm oil, construction and energy, was named as the richest man in Indonesia by Forbes Asia magazine last month. Net plantable areas under APRIL management cover more than 400,000 hectares (nearly a million acres) and the company's mill near this city of Pangkalan Kerinci is the second biggest in the world in terms of designed production capacity.

APRIL uses around 9 million cubic meters (nearly 12 million cubic yards) of wood annually for its yearly production capacity of 2 million tons of pulp. APP capacities are similar. As of the end of June 2006, APRIL says it has planted about 300,000 hectares of acacia, but still acknowledges that 55 percent of the wood it uses comes from natural forests.

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