A world without tigers?

Feature Story - 2010-07-16
According to a recent report, there are only 3,200 wild tigers left in the entire world – a tragic decline from the 100,000 tigers that existed just one hundred years ago.

Three Sumatran tigers

According to a recent WWF report, there are only 3,200 wild tigers left in the entire world - a tragic decline from the 100,000 tigers that existed just one hundred years ago.

Global extinction may become a reality for Asia's only big cat, unless action is taken immediately. That's why Greenpeace's campaign against Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is so important.

APP, a subsidiary of the infamous Indonesian Sinar Mars group, is destroying thousands of acres of peatland and rainforest to feed their paper and pulp mills, which produce toilet and tissue paper, photocopy paper, magazines, and more.

These rainforest and peatlands are critical not only as a source of major carbon storage and thus a line of defense against global warming, but also as the last refuges of critically endangered Sumatran tigers and orang-utans.

On July 6, Greenpeace China took action against APP and French supermarket chain Auchan, which carries APP paper products such as Breeze (清风 Qingfeng) tissue paper. Activists, dressed as Sumatran tigers, were buried under packages of Breeze toilet paper rolls, while forest campaigner Ma Lichao spoke to the media about the issues.

There are only 400 to 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild today, and what's left of their homelands is swiftly disappearing. Since deforestation has intensified in the last 25 years, the tiger population has declined by more than 70%.

Despite promises to rely on only renewable plantation sources, APP continues to aggressively expand its rainforest concessions in Indonesia. Much of this is in the last remaining homes of the Sumatran tiger, such as the Bukit Tigapuluh Forests and the Kerumutan Peat Swamp Forests. At the same time, Sinar Mars is also clearing rainforests and peatlands for its palm oil plantations.

Where does China fit into all this?

APP now claims to be China's largest producer of pulp, paper, and tissue products, so any global action has to involve China to be meaningful. APP China's Gold East Paper Mill, in Jiangsu province, is the single-largest export destination of APP's Indonesian-based paper mills. At the same time, China is also the world's largest importer of palm oil.

Brands in China that source paper products from APP include:

• KFC

• Wal-mart and Auchan (in their China locations)

• Breeze (清风 Qingfeng) and Zhenzhen (真真) tissue paper

• Numrous brands of copy and print paper - look for the APP logo

• Chinese National Geographic, CNN Traveller, COSMO, Cosmo Girl, ELLE, Marie Claire, and Esquire magazines

What we are doing:

Greenpeace urges all companies to immediately stop trading with Sinar Mars/APP until it changes its policies. In response to Greenpeace campaigning, Carrefour, Tesco, Kraft, Kimberly-Clark, Staples, Nestlé, and Unilever have already phased out or are in the process of phasing out APP products.

What you can do:

• Don't buy products sourced from APP

• Read our report How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet

• Share this with your friends, and sign-up to be an online activist

No one needs their tissue and toilet paper to be made from rainforest timber - especially at the cost of the lives of Sumatran tigers.

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