UPDATE: On October 11, 2012, Disney announced a comprehensive paper policy that maximizes its use of environmentally superior papers like recycled and eliminates controversial sources like those connected to Indonesian rainforest destruction. For more info, visit www.ran.org/disney.
Rare, recently released video footage of Sumatra tiger cubs playing in the rainforest clearly demonstrates whose future is at stake.
Paper linked to the destruction of Indonesian rainforests, species extinction, climate change and human rights abuses is finding its way into your Disney books.
Disney must move quickly to clean up its paper supply chains and send a clear public signal to Indonesian pulp and paper manufacturers that it will not tolerate or do any business that can be linked to paper companies whose practices destroy rainforests and threaten the very survival of iconic species like Sumatran tigers, elephants and orangutans. Rainforest Action Network’s new briefing, Why Disney Must Act to Save Indonesia’s Rainforests, profiles the climate, biodiversity and human rights issues that are making the protection of Indonesia’s remaining rainforests a top global conservation priority. Unfortunately, Disney is still using paper in its books that is tightly linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction.
The tiger cubs in the above video are playing in an area that is under imminent threat of being clearcut to feed giant pulp mills owned by Indonesian pulp and paper conglomerates, APP and APRIL. This is despite the fact that the threatened rainforest area is located in a global priority Tiger Conservation Landscape. Scientists estimate that there are less than 400 of the critically endangered Sumatra tigers left in the wild. The future for Sumatra tigers hangs in the balance. The Indonesian pulp and paper sector represents one of the biggest threats to the rainforests that the tigers need for their very survival.
Paper, wood fiber and pulp from Indonesia is exported to China where it finds its way into Disney products, which in turn are then sold in the U.S. and around the world. Laboratory testing of three Disney books found wood fibers linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction in all of them. Little Einstein’s Galactic Goodnight, for example, had paper composed of 13% mixed tropical hardwoods (e.g. wood from cleared rainforests) and 13% Acacia fiber, which is the pulp plantation species planted in Indonesia once the rainforest has been cleared.
You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that Disney Products should be rainforest-safe. Indonesia is losing rainforests at a rate of 200,000 to 400,000 acres a month, which is also having a significant impact on climate change. Because of its high deforestation rates and drainage of carbon rich peatlands to make plantations, Indonesia is now the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after China and the United States.
It’s time to act and to act quickly. Disney is the biggest publisher of kids’ books and magazines in the world. But when it comes to the paper it uses, Disney, unlike other top children’s book publishers has so far failed to articulate or implement rainforest-safe paper procurement policies and practices that prevent the company from contributing to the loss of endangered forests in Indonesia and around the world.
As a first step towards a meaningful policy and its implementation, Disney must eliminate controversial fiber in its paper and publically sever all financial and supply chain ties with APP and APRIL as well as their affiliates until key reforms have been implemented and independently verified.
Disney, it’s time to adopt a comprehensive paper policy that can guarantee to parents that the Disney story books they buy will not make their families unwitting participants in tiger and orangutan extinction.