The Lorax: Yes, I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees, which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please.
From Green Right Now Reports
Disney, recognizing its heavy paper footprint as the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, has announced
it will be changing its paper policies to try to stop the degradation of rainforests in Southeast Asia.
The change comes as a victory for indigenous Indonesians, rainforest wildlife and the atmosphere, which are all being harmed by the vociferous consumption of rainforests from logging across Indonesia.
Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which called Disney out two years ago for having tropical wood fibers in the pages of its storybooks, reports that the entertainment company’s new policy will have a huge impact as it switches to sustainably sourced and recycled paper.
“Disney's policy makes clear that rainforests are more valuable left standing than pulped for paper,” RAN announced on its website.
“This policy adds Disney to a growing list of companies that are turning away from deforestation in their supply chains and sending strong signals to APP (Asia Paper & Pulp), APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited) and others in the pulp and paper industry that they must institute major reforms that protect forests and address social conflict and human rights violations.
The unsustainable destruction of these rainforests, which are often burned or clear cut, has made Indonesia the world’s third
largest contributor to greenhouse gases, after the two leading national economies, China and the U.S.. Rainforest loss in this tropical region is not only contributing to climate change, it is stripping the globe of habitat for a Jungle Book of endangered species, such as the tiger and the intelligent and peaceful orangutan.
Disney ran afoul of RAN when the non-profit watchdog group discovered tropical wood fibers in the company’s storybooks being manufactured in China, which frequently sources paper from Indonesia. RAN cited Disney and the others among the top ten children’s publishers for failing to have a responsible plan for paper sourcing. It pushed the publishers to change to more sustainable practices, which would help assure a healthy planet for the youngsters their businesses target.
Eight publishers agreed in 2010 to eliminate Indonesian paper fiber from their supply chain, but Disney and Harper Collins did not commit.
RAN followed up with protests at Disney Studios, and thereafter negotiated with the company to change its paper policies.
Disney’s new guidelines aim to minimize the consumption of paper and eliminate paper products from irresponsibly harvested fiber, including that from designated “High Conservation Value Areas”. (Translation: It will try not to interfere with the intricate circle of life in areas that are biologically sensitive.)
Simultaneously, Disney will maximize the use of paper sourced from Forest Stewardship Council-certified operations, the company reported.
In addition, Disney has promised to work with RAN and similar groups to identify areas where forest management is lacking and the deforestation risk is high.
The impact these changes could have, if Disney proceeds with rigor, is enormous. The changes will apply to operations at factories in more than 100 countries, including 10,000 in China alone, RAN reports.
“Because of Disney's vast reach and the diversity of paper products it uses, Disney's policy has the potential to influence the way paper is produced worldwide,” the NGO said.
So to its repertory of conservation commitments and environmental flicks (remember earth and Chimpanzee?), Disney can add a new chapter, of which the Lorax could proclaim: “We speak for the trees! Let them grow! Let them grow!”
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