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Case Study of Telapak – Indonesia

Maria Rosaline Nindita Radyati and Tony Simmonds

Abstract: TELAPAK is a membership-based organization with a legal entity of Association. It has subsidiaries, or “Chapters”, in 27 provinces in Indonesia, and has more than 10.000 members. Established in 1997 under the legal entity of Foundation, it then changed into Association to save the Indonesia forest from illegal loggers by using economic approach. They learned that the demands for certified wood under FSC’s (Forest Stewardship Council) certification were high from Europe and USA. TELAPAK started a pilot project to educate farmers to build a system and conduct community-based sustainable forest management. They involved 46 villages to form farmer groups under a legal entity of Cooperative. TELAPAK was able to help farmers sell their certified wood to Europe and USA and the price of wood increased by 10 times after it was FSC certified. Slowly but surely, the illegal logging activities stopped, because farmers left to join the cooperative (KHJL). This became their prototype which then replicated in many islands in Indonesia. TELAPAK continued its effort in campaigning for saving the environment by establishing media businesses throughout its Chapters in many provinces. But Telapak did not have a business mindset and many of the business started to fail. The need to change approach pushed to a deep and useful change: Telapak started building enterprises, owned by the community (Cooperative and Private Limited Companies), to conduct and sustain the business activities of FSC wood. The value proposition of TELAPAK is: “Build Sustainable Livelihood and Dignity through Community Enterprises”: developing Community Enterprises to tackle issues faced by the communities. In this way, the communities as beneficiaries do not just benefit from each business activity, but they also become the owner of their business. With the mindset of owner, the communities will do their best to maintain the sustainability of their business/enterprises. And actually it really works!