For years, groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network have focused on A.P.P. with campaigns that accuse the company of fueling climate change and pushing rare Sumatran tigers, orangutans and elephants toward extinction by clearing the forests where they live.
However Greenpeace is not APP's only adversary among environmental groups, which are sure to also closely scrutinize the deal. NGOs ranging from local groups like WAHLI and Greenomics to medium-sized international outfits like the Rainforest Action Network to multinational behemoths like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have actively campaigned to reform APP for the greater part of a decade.
The revised policy, posted on its web site earlier this month, is a response to a campaign by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an activist group that is targeting companies linked to clearing of Indonesian rainforests and peatlands for pulp and paper production: Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL). With the new policy, HarperCollins has become the final of the ten largest publishers in the United States to phase out buying from APP and APRIL, according to RAN.
Chok added that the extra investment went beyond the company’s bottom line, insisting it was the right thing to do. “The children are really lucky – the company is looking after them in every way. Other companies,” he went on, “look like they’re serious (about helping them), but they’re not.” (Wilmar is not without its critics. The Rainforest Action Network, a San Francisco-based environmental group, alleges the company’s security forces have used violence and heavy machinery against villagers in Indonesia’s Sumatra province – among other heavy-handed policies.
In a recent announcement, Rainforest Action Network and Orangutan Outreach have set up an online petition urging Oz to retract his support of red palm oil. According to RAN and Orangutan Outreach, the cultivation of red palm oil is destroying jungles in Borneo and Sumatra. According to the two groups, 90 percent of palm oil originates in Indonesia and Malaysia. The increased demand for this product has led to massive forest clearings, putting ecosystems and wildlife in danger.
SAN FRANCISCO– HarperCollins’ recent public commitment to no longer source paper connected to endangered rainforests signifies a fundamental, sector-wide shift in the US publishing industry. This move by HarperCollins is on the heels of a major announcement in October by Disney, which released a comprehensive global paper policy covering the company’s vast array of businesses and licensees.
Just over two years ago, independent fiber tests revealed paper linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction in books sold by nearly all top American publishers.
Getting your kid a book this holiday season? Before you pat yourself on the back for not buying some plastic crap destined for the dump, consider this: The book you bought might actually be destroying the rainforest.