The Real Price of Paper

The Real Price of a Piece of Paper

Indonesia is known as the second richest country in the world as far as biodiversity. It is home to some of the most famous endangered species such as the rhino, Asian elephant and Sumatran tiger. It contains 1.3% of the world’s land area, 10% of the world’s flowering plants and 17% of all birds, reptiles and amphibians. People also depend on the forest but over time, their rights and welfare has been ignored. Local people suffer from the process of deforestation due to violent protest, losing their way of life and their ancestral land.

Indonesia’s pulp and paper industry is being held responsible for the mass destruction of its native forest over the years. So far 835,000 acres of forest has been destroyed to supply the paper and pulp industry. According to the World bank, that is an average of 2 million acres a year. An estimated 72% of the original forest has already been destroyed according to Global Forest Watch. The largest pulp mill uses 75% of its logs for the pulp and paper industry in Asia which is most likely derived from illegal sources. The international financial community has funded over $15 billion to this activity for the past ten years. APP has been covering up the truth on the impacts this has left on the native forest while bringing in un-branded and re-branded paper products into the UK market.

Some pros found within this article is that the people are aware of how much of the forest is being cut down. Locals are protesting against it which is also bring awareness. Over time, multiple solutions could be established to decrease the amount of acres demolished for this purpose, such as recycling. The more people who are aware of this, the better chance we have of preventing it from happening in the future.

Some negative information found within this article states that this is not only affecting the amount of forest we have left in the world but also people’s lives and biodiversity. The more the forest is cut down, the more species will become endangered. Just like the local people who depend on the forest, animals depend on it as well for food, shelter, reproduction and more. If the forest continues to be cut down, the people and plant/ animal species will struggle for survival.

According to the World’s Resource Institute, as of February 2013, Indonesia’s natural forest will no longer be cut down. Due to the awareness brought to the situation, campaigns were arranged by World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace that changed APP’s forest policies. They are now required to engage more with local communities and sourcing all materials from plantation grown trees. They also created a new program that manages and reduces the amount of green house gases emitted from peat. Systems have been created where anyone has the right to monitor APP’s progress on its commitments even with basic technology such as a computer with Wi-Fi.

When I first read “The Real Price of Paper” I was very upset to know that so much of Indonesia’s forest was being cut down. This not only affects the local people, plants, animals, etc. but it also affects everyone around the world. Deforestation decreases the amount of biodiversity which is a huge impact on everyone within our current and future generations. When I found an updated article over this situation, I was pleased to find that there are rules in place that now prevents Indonesia from cutting down any more of their natural forest. I have come to the conclusion that the more people are aware of a problem, the higher chance there is of something being done about it. This is a fine example of where awareness makes a huge difference between life or death!


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