Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto (Ruwi) and Silverius Oscar Unggul (Onte) have led efforts to shift Indonesia from illegal logging to community-based logging. Ruwi co-founded Telapak in 1997, pioneering reporting on illegal logging in Indonesia’s national parks to raise awareness of the issue, both internationally and domestically. In 2006, Ruwi, together with Onte, a community organization expert, transitioned Telepak’s focus from raising awareness about the problem to rolling out solutions via community-based sustainable resource management. The first organization in Southeast Asia to help achieve group forestry certification for logging cooperatives, Telapak is scaling its model nationally, with goals of helping local communities to eventually manage millions of hectares of forest across Indonesia.
IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2014:
- In July 2012, Ruwi won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, considered Asia’s Nobel Prize.
- Telapak has established 6 territorial offices actively engaging with 8 communities to create sustainable logging cooperatives that have the potential to collectively certify more than 200,000 hectares of forest land.
- With the help of a UK-based environmental group, Ruwi exposed illegal logging and smuggling, sparking public outrage which pressurized Indonesia to tighten regulations on the timber trade. He was threatened with death, assaulted and once kidnapped by a timber company in central Kalimantan but never gave up.
- Telapak worked with a community partner NGO to facilitate the first-ever Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) group certification in Southeast Asia, which has been renewed every year since. Over the past 3 years, this single community cooperative has cut 3,000 trees and planted 2 million new ones. The 2,106 members of the cooperative now earn more than 3 times as much for their wood. In 2009, this community was granted the first state timber concession to a community cooperative, allowing it to manage and log from state forests — a significant accomplishment that represents a gateway to the protection of far more forest lands beyond those that are privately owned.
- Before Telapak started working in a Sulawesi district, there were 75 illegal sawmills. Now there are none.
- Telapak manages forests sustainably, under globally-recognized certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). For 10 trees being cut down, they plant and care for a hectare of them—roughly 1,000 trees.
- Where their community logging co-ops operate, illegal logging has been reduced drastically, tree coverage increased significantly, and the welfare of the local community improved greatly.
- Their community logging co-op model is being replicated across Indonesia by more than 50 communities under Telapak’s network. Two of them have gained FSC certification, and more are in the process.
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