Sinar Mas plays its latest joker

Posted by ianduff — 1 October 2010 at 3:16pm - Comments

It seems that Sinar Mas hasn’t learnt from last month’s mistakes and is labouring on with a strategy of hiring auditors to distract attention from their ongoing involvement in forest and peatland destruction.

This week Sinar Mas's pulp and paper arm – Asia Pulp and Paper - released a new 'independent audit' that purports to prove that Greenpeace investigations are wrong and our evidence of forest destruction unfounded. The people behind the audit are, shall we say, a little less independent than they claim. Alan Oxley and his consultancy International Trade Strategies Global (ITS) are an Australian outfit who have a track record of working for companies engaged in unsustainable business practices - including logging companies.

Oxley has developed quite a reputation for his role as an apologist for industries involved in deforestation. Recently his 'not-for-profit' World Growth, has weighed into the palm oil issue, bizarrely accusing environmental campaigners of being puppets to European countries trying to protect their industries and jobs. At least when Sinar Mas' palm oil arm decided to audit our work they made some effort to hire auditors who could be in some way described as independent. With Oxley, it appears that their pulp and paper wing really is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Not only does Oxley have more baggage than a Victoria Beckham summer holiday, he’s clearly also a second-rate auditor and has failed to do his research properly. For instance he

  • used outdated forest concession maps that do not contain the latest Sinar Mas concessions;
  • failed to consult the correct documents about company expansion plans;
  • did not even bother to point out that the data sources Greenpeace relied upon were also used by the Indonesian Government as part of the basis for its climate change abatement scenario planning.

Oxley has again proven himself to be more interested in attacking NGOs on behalf of industry than he is in assessing facts. Rather than playing yet another joker card like Alan Oxley, Greenpeace challenges Sinar Mas to be truly transparent and set the record straight by making public all the concession maps of areas it has in acquisition, owns or manages, together with all the high conservation assessments it has done to ensure that any valuable areas are protected.

If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear, so why not show the world that your concessions are free from forest and peatland destruction?

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