China will investigate allegations that an Indonesia-based firm
has been engaged in illegal logging in the southern island province
of Hainan, an official at the State Forestry
Administration (SFA) said yesterday in Beijing.
The China office of Greenpeace, an international environmental
group, last Wednesday accused Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) of
illegally clearing primary forest to build roads and plant a "large
area of eucalyptus pulp and paper forest" in Yinggeling, a nature
reserve in Hainan.
"China welcomes foreign investment in forestation on the
condition that it protects the local ecosystem," said Jin Zhicheng,
an official in charge of news releases at the SFA.
"But any actions that destroy the ecosystem and biodiversity are
not permitted and will be firmly punished."
He said the SFA had asked the Hainan provincial forestry bureau
to investigate the case, though there had not been any results as
"The Yinggeling area is the largest tropical rain forest in
Southeast Asia, growing a rich spectrum of tropical species," Jin
Liu Bing, Greenpeace forestry project director, addressed the
allegations at a news conference.
"APP crudely opened roads in the protected area by destroying
natural forest," Liu said.
"This not only harmed a large area of the natural forest, but
also caused significant water losses and soil erosion, and could
lead to reduced biodiversity and the destruction of an
Meanwhile, APP told China Daily that "the accusations
are definitely not true".
A newsletter released by APP said officials from the Hainan
provincial forestry bureau and other related governmental
departments visited the forestation area last August and found that
APP had not planted any fast-growing trees in the protected region,
nor had it felled any primary forest to make space for
APP said its forestation work in China had abided by the
country's laws and rules. And its target areas were mostly barren
fields and mountains that had been approved by forestry
However, environmentalists from Greenpeace regularly accuse APP
of illegal logging in both Indonesia and at its pulp and paper
operations in Hainan and the Southwest China province of Yunnan.
(China Daily April 5, 2007)