Damage claims probed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 April, 2007, 12:00am

A senior forestry official yesterday responded to an NGO's claims that Asia Pulp & Paper's (APP) activities were endangering biodiversity at a nature reserve in Hainan province , saying it was still being investigated.

But, without naming names, State Forestry Administration spokesman Jin Zhicheng also said 'large-scale tree planting in the nature reserve has severely damaged the reserve's ecology and biodiversity'.

Greenpeace China has accused APP of logging natural forests and planting pulp trees at the Yinggeling reserve in Baisha county since the zone gained protection in July 2004.

APP responded: 'Hainan authorities and the company have jointly conducted and finished an on-the-spot investigation, and concluded that [Greenpeace China's] accusation deviates severely from facts.'