JAKARTA — An Indonesian company with ties to Japanese conglomerates has cleared large swaths of rainforests, including habitat for critically endangered orangutans, according to a report. The company, Alas Kusuma, allegedly cleared 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) of forest between 2016 and March 2021 through its logging subsidiary, PT Mayawana Persada, in the western part of Indonesian Borneo, the research consultancy Aidenvironment said in its report. In 2020 alone, Mayawana Persada cleared 2,800 hectares (6,900 acres) of forest, making Alas Kusuma the second-largest deforester in Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector, Aidenvironment said. An orangutan population and habitat viability assessment conducted by an expert group of scientists in 2016 identified most of the cleared area as orangutan habitat. Mayawana Persada has denied the allegation. “There’s no deforestation activity in orangutan’s habitat by PT Mayawana Persada,” the company told Mongabay in an email. “This can be seen from the company’s working map and the company’s activities on the ground, which have taken into account the results of studies on orangutan and high conservation values areas.” Mayawana Persada said the studies were done by a consultancy called Ecology and Conservation Center for Tropical Studies (Ecositrop). “The studies were to minimize the impact of the industrial forest plantation on the orangutan population in PT Mayawana Persada’s concession,” the company said. Aidenvironment, however, said little information is available on any conservation efforts, and the group also appears to lack a “no deforestation, no peat and no exploitation” (NDPE) policy. Mayawana Persada said it complies with Indonesian…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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