Paper Pulp

Standard Page - 2011-06-21
Indonesia’s rainforests – home to 10 to 15% of the world’s wildlife such as orangutans, clouded leopards and Sumatran tigers – are being converted to paper plantations for the sake of our glossy magazines, toilet paper and tissues, printer paper, and more.

Indonesia’s rainforests – home to 10 to 15% of the world’s wildlife such as orangutans, clouded leopards and Sumatran tigers – are being converted to paper plantations for the sake of our glossy magazines, toilet paper and tissues, printer paper, and more.

And as Hong Kong, Taiwan and especially Mainland China demand more paper products, logging companies are expanding into ever wider swathes of pristine rainforest.

Deforestation, plantation conversion, and peatland destruction have made Indonesia the world’s third largest emitter of carbon dioxide.  Leading the destruction is Indonesian company Sinar Mas and its subsidiary Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).

Paper plantations replace precious tropical trees with non-native species such as the fast-growing acacia and eucalyptus. Rainforests not only store millennia worth of carbon, but also provide a home for indigenous species like the critically endangered orangutans and Sumatran tigers. Because plantation forests are artificial and invasive, they hurt rather than support local plants and animals.

According to WWF, between 1982 and 2007, Riau province on Sumatra Island lost 420 million hectares of rain forest and peatland, and its total forest coverage plummeted from 78% to 27%. Much of the forest was converted to palm oil (35.9%) and paper pulp (24.4%) plantations, and 21.6% of the deforested land was abandoned as wasteland.

In China, paper pulp companies are also guilty of converting natural forests to plantations. From 2004 to 2007, APP has engaged in deforestation in Yunnan, home to incredible biodiversity, and Hainan provinces. They have also destroyed natural conservation areas for eucalyptus plantations.

For more information on our campaign, please read more about the solutions, what we do, or how you can help.

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