Skoll Foundation



Skoll Awardee(s): Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto and Silverius Oscar Unggul
Award Year: 2010
Issue Area(s) Addressed: Economic Opportunity, Environmental Sustainability, Sustainable Markets

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“By revealing the exploitation of natural resources and injustices against indigenous and local people, we have a thorough understanding of the root causes. As the embodiment of the principle of economic independence, we incubate businesses that become an integral part of working with the people.”

Sub-Issues: Arresting Deforestation; Livelihoods; Smallholder Productivity; Standards

Indonesia is one of the world’s third-largest emitters of greenhouse gases, following the United States and China. Nearly two-thirds of these emissions come from illegal logging.

The Skoll Awardees: Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto (Ruwi) and Silverius Oscar Unggul (Onte) are known as leaders in efforts to shift Indonesia from illegal logging to community-based logging. Ruwi co-founded Telapak in 1997, reporting on illegal logging in Indonesia’s national parks to raise awareness of the issue, both internationally and domestically. In 2006, Ruwi teamed with Onte, a community organization expert, to shift Telapak from raising awareness to rolling out solutions in the form of community-based sustainable resource management. Telapak was first organization in Southeast Asia to help achieve group certification for logging cooperatives. At the time of the Award, it was the only Indonesian organization employing a comprehensive cultural, economic and political approach — engaging communities to manage their own agro-forestry enterprises, which provides economic incentive to sustain their forests. The organization was prepared to replicate its model from a few pilot sites to millions of hectares across the Indonesian archipelago. In 2012, both Ruwi and Onte stepped down from their positions. Their successor as Telapak’s president, Khusnul Zaini, was a former minister of law and politics with the Indonesian government.

Impact since joining the portfolio in 2010:

  • Telapak’s community logging co-op model is being replicated by more than 50 communities across Indonesia. Two have gained FSC certification, and more are in the process.
  • Where these co-ops operate, illegal logging has been reduced drastically, tree coverage increased significantly, and the welfare of the local community has improved.
  • The number of illegal sawmills in Sulawesi District has been reduced from 75 to zero.



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.