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Leading paper firm pledges to halt Indonesian deforestation

The world's third biggest paper company has pledged to halt deforestation in Indonesia, and help to restore the habitats of the rare Sumatran tiger and orangutan, following a long-running campaign by environmentalists.

Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) said on Tuesday that it would end the "clearing of natural forest" across its entire supply chain, with immediate effect. From now on, it has pledged to work to preserve "high conservation value" and "high-carbon stock" forests.

The move marks a major victory for green campaigners, as paper made from the pulped remains of some of the last virgin rainforests of south-east Asia has been found in products across the world, and its manufacture has contributed to the endangerment of threatened wildlife.

Indonesian deforestation
Indonesian deforestation

Aida Greenbury, managing director for sustainability at APP, told the Guardian the company was keen to show an example to the rest of the industry. "It is time to stop talking and fighting - it is time for us to show real action on the ground. It is time to stop talking about climate change but address it."

After a long investigation by Greenpeace, APP was found last year to have used trees that are endangered and cannot legally be logged in Indonesia in packaging for major clients. The green group traced DNA from ramin trees - native to the same habitat as the rare Sumatran tiger - to packaging in consumer products.

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