The Sumatran tiger is a magnificent animal. Yet sadly, its existence is in danger.
Today, along with many other species, the fate of the Sumatran tiger hangs in the balance. With an estimated wild population of less than 400, Greenpeace is urgently working to protect its remaining habitat from being destroyed.
Indonesia is a global treasure chest of biodiversity and home to between 10 and 15 per cent of all known species of plants, mammals and birds. Sumatran tigers, orang-utans, elephants, rhinoceroses, more than 1,500 species of birds and thousands of plant species are all a part of the country’s natural legacy. Sadly, we have already witnessed the extinction of the other two tiger species that once inhabited the forests of Indonesia – the Javan and Bali tigers. Greenpeace is determined not to allow the Sumatran tiger to share the same fate.
And it is not just these wonders of our natural world that are disappearing. The lives of millions of Indonesians who depend on the forests for food, shelter and livelihoods are changing beyond recognition as the forest disappears.
This destruction also threatens our global climate. Peatlands are amongst the world’s most critical carbon stores. Indonesia’s peatlands are vast, storing about 35 billion tonnes of carbon. The mass destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands for palm oil and paper is the main reason why Indonesia is currently the world's third largest emitter of climate changing greenhouse gases.
Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands are being destroyed to make the disposable consumer products we find in our shops – paper for our glossy magazines and books, copy and toilet paper and packaging and palm oil for products like toothpaste and chocolate.
Greenpeace is campaigning for an immediate moratorium on forest and peatland destruction in Indonesia, and for zero deforestation by 2015. We are working alongside Indonesian civil society and local communities to bring about a better future for Indonesians, their forests, biodiversity and the global climate.
Part of the solution to the problems facing Indonesian forests and communities is getting the global marketplace to support forest protection and avoid products from destructive logging and palm oil operations.
The largest and most regressive company leading the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest and peatlands is Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), part of the notorious Sinar Mas Group.
The Greenpeace report 'How Sinar Mas is pulping the planet' documents the impacts of Asia Pulp and Paper’s operations on the island of Sumatra. These include clearance of deep peatlands, intrusions into tiger habitat and a massive planned expansion into intact areas of rainforest. The report also exposed those companies linked to this destruction. After thousands of people took action, global companies such as Unilever, Nestlé and Mattel and Australian supermarkets Woolworths and IGA cut their ties with Sinar Mas and Asia Pulp and Paper, but more needs to be done.
To ensure they do not trade in rainforest destruction, companies should not use Asia Pulp and Paper as a supplier.. They should take responsibility for all the products they trade in, reduce their reliance on virgin paper fibre and maximise recycled paper and wood products. Their customers (that’s us) deserve to know if they are buying paper products linked to rainforest destruction and habitat loss.
Today, Indonesia stands at a crossroads; will it choose to allow companies like Asia Pulp and Paper to relentlessly clear its natural rainforests and cause the extinction of the Sumatran tiger, or, will it pursue a sustainable path forward with the help of the international community that protects peatlands and rainforests?