Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years - www.rain-tree.com
According to a new study released by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a large percentage of children's books sold in the U.S. are made from paper that includes "fiber linked to the clearing and conversion of Indonesia's rainforests." 90 percent of the world's acacia pulp is produced in Indonesia, according to RAN, where dedicated plantations are fast replacing virgin rainforest and wreaking havoc on the local ecology. Even worse, laboratory testing apparently found such fibers in at least one children's book about the destruction of rain forests.Sadly, the children's book publishing industry is no exception to the fierce economics of globalization. RAN reports that U.S. publishers, relentlessly seeking to lower production costs, have aggressively offshored printing responsibilities to China. From 2000-2008, "Chinese sales of children's picture books to the U.S. ballooned by more than 290 percent, averaging an increase of more than 35 percent a year." China in turn, sources 18 percent of its pulp imports to Indonesia, where a pair of companies with two of the worst environmental reputations in the world, Asia Pulp and Paper and Asia Pacific Resources International, dominate the industry.