Homegrown Sustainable Forestry : Indonesia

Indonesia has lost around 30% of its forest coverage in the last 50 years, in part due to illegal logging. We found solution to solve it!

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Silverius Oscar Unggul

Initiative's representative date of birth

20 June 1971

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Indonesia

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?

Jogjakarta and Southeast Sulawesi

Website or social media url(s)

www.telapak.org silverius.oscar.unggul

Date Started


Project Stage

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Hybrid

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

After very success of campaign we did, the government of Indonesia held a biggest ever operation of illegal logging. The operations consists of thousands of Police and Army to stop illegal logging. But, the result is very disapointed because no big actor, who we put their name (and roles) clearly in our report going to the jail or court. ONLY, local people, poor famers going to the jail. As a NGO we are famous, but we are very sad. That's why we transfrorm our strategy, not only doing advocacy, but start to doing solution with the illegal loggers. Together with them we build system for community based and sustainable logging.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Illegal logging. This is a massive problem for Indonesia's forest. Illegal logging, destroyed our conservation area, millions of biodiversity lost, and make many people suffering because of flood or drought.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

All the big actors of illegal logging need poor people as their workers. And because they are poor, they will do anything, even with great risk. If Police came, the poor people will be the victims and going to the jail. The big actors? the will continue their work with others poor people. Our approach is working with the poor people, organize them to have cooperatives, and build system of sustainable forestry with international standard (FSC = Forest Stewardship Council). Of course the hardest part is how to engage them and how to fight with big actors and thier kroni. I remember first time we only have 7 families who believe on us, the others is only wait and see. But, thanks God, we did it and after our certified wood give higher price than illegal ones, more than 7,000 families join with our cooperative at the time. Suddenly the big actors of illegal logging do not have workers anymore. They fight and they trying to destroyed our cooperative. With their 'friends' in police they do an operation of illegal logging and tell our wood is illegal. They forget, with FSC standard we have a tracelibity system. We can prove all the origin of the wood.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

At the time when we start the idea, almost all NGO’s believe if we want to save our forest we must doing manage the NTFP (Non Timber Forest Product). But we saw the big problem of ttat strategy : the money come from NTFP is very small if you compare with illegal wood. That’s big problem for us, because we know the illegal loggers will still work for big actors if the money they get from others program is less that illegal ways. Based on that, our innovation came. We focus on illegal loggers and focus on what they expert on. They expert on wood, so we start with wood but slowly we transform them to sustainable management of forestry.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

We are working close with private sectors who willing to buy FSC certificate wood. By agree with FCS standard, they will agrree to asess and protect High Value Consevation Area, and must doing replanting the area. With government we working together to develop good policy based on our experience..

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

First illegal logging is most lower now, there are no local people want to do illegal way right now. They have their own cooperatives to do sustainable management., and produce sustainable wood. The price of sustainable wood is more that 30% higher than illegal one. Now we have 6 (six) cooperatives accross Indonesai with 10.100 householder as a members. We also have more than 15 companies as a buyers . For these companies they happy becuase they can secure their supply for sustainable source. And with IT system we have every trees have an id, so everybody can trace where the trees came from, even if the wood already become a furniture!

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

We want to replicate this system across Indonesia fast. We want to build 200 cooperatives accross Indonesia in next 3 years. With 200 cooperatives we will work with more than 50,000 household and will manage more than 25,000 ha of land.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

We are creating value in the beginning. The famers is not only stakeholder in our system but also the shareholders. For effectivness now we create one company (www.sobi.co.id), as a group certification and marketing hub for all farmers. The cooperatives is one of the shareholdera of the companies. The others shareholders is Telapak (Ashoka Fellows/social enterpreneur) and private sectors. This is a inclusive company and we beliave only with the inclusive business model you can achive inclusive growth.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

If we can build more cooperative we can secure our supply and will secure our income. In the medium term we need to build processing industry and will start to sell not only log wood. In the long time we will expand our system to others sectors such us in marine sustainable management.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our team is blended team. Fiirst, Telapak members (www.telapak.org). Our members imostly is community organizer and our roles is doing social investment (social investigation, build the cooperative , set up the system for conflict resolution mechanism and share benefit system). Second , the Profesionals, they will doing and running our company (sobi.co.id). Now our managing Director is Matt Danalan Saragih, ex McKinsey, MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far


Yes, absolutely! - 37.5%

Yes/maybe - 37.5%

Maybe - 12.5%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 12.5%


5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 50%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 25%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 25%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 37.5%

4- Yes, I think so. - 12.5%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 37.5%

4- Yes, I think so. - 0%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 12.5%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 37.5%

4- Yes, I think so. - 12.5%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 25%

1- No. - 0%


5 -Yes, absolutely! - 37.5%

4- Yes, I think so. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 12.5%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 37.5%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 12.5%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 100%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 100%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 60%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 60%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 40%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 20%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 100%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 75%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 75%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 75%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 50%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 25%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 50%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%


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May this project be scaled up across the Indonesian archipelago, so that the ‘Emerald of The Equator’ can continue to shine for the years to come.

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