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Environmental Organizations to urge CANFOR to not sell Howe Sound Pulp and Paper SINAR MAS

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Vancouver - ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Sierra Club B.C. and Canopy are alarmed by Canfor Forest Products' decision to sell its Howe Sound Pulp and Paper operation to Paper Excellence BV, the Netherlands-based unit of Indonesia's Sinar Mas Group. In a letter to Canfor, the environmental organizations are urging the company to not sell Howe Sound Pulp and Paper to Paper Excellence, but instead explore alternative ownership scenarios.

Sinar Mas, in particular its pulp and paper arm Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), is known globally for massive environmental destruction for palm oil and pulp and paper, including logging intact rainforests and peatland, wiping out Orangutan habitat, human rights violations and financial scandals in Indonesia. Internationally, environmental and human rights organizations have condemned Sinar Mas operations. In July 2010 a group of 40 non-governmental organizations released an open letter to the marketplace alerting any company doing business with APP that this would pose a serious risk to their respective brands. Greenpeace International has a major marketplace boycott campaign against Sinar Mas/APP.

"Sinar Mas represents everything we are working against in B.C. and other parts of the world: rainforest destruction, use of violence against Aboriginal people and unbridled corporate greed," said Jens Wieting, forest campaigner with Sierra Club BC.

"We have a global responsibility and should not be inviting companies who apply 'worst practices' in other parts of the world into Canada," said Will Craven, Media Officer at ForestEthics.

"Sinar Mas or any of its paper tiger companies setting up shop in BC is a problem. They need to clean up their act abroad by stopping the destruction of natural Indonesian rainforests for pulp and paper and palm oil. We cannot risk Sinar Mas bringing what they consider business-as-usual practices to British Columbia," said Stephanie Goodwin, Greenpeace B.C. Director.

Howe Sound Pulp and Paper's joint owners, Canada's Canfor Forest Products and Oji Paper Co Ltd. of Japan, agreed in July to sell the operation to Paper Excellence / Sinar Mas for an undisclosed price. Finalising the deal could take until October. Howe Sound Pulp and Paper is the Dutch company's second purchase in BC this year, in what an industry publication has described as a "buying spree."




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