Indonesia – Fight for the Remaining Forest

A documentary featuring hard hitting investigative videos, news reports and contextual interviews chronicles the work over 20 years of EIA and our partner Telapak (now Kaoem Telapak) to stop the illegal destruction of Indonesia's forests.

This partnership proved instrumental in creating a new international framework and transforming Indonesia into a world leader in legally sourced timber.

From the depths of the Indonesian forest and tracking the criminal gangs trafficking timber to lobbying governments and multilateral organisations in high-powered meetings in London, Brussels and elsewhere, this film documents how this change came about.

Short version French version Bahasa version

When the story starts, Indonesia’s forests were being stripped by timber barons and criminal gangs, with vast areas destroyed every year. Now, two decades later, Indonesia leads the world in implementing a legal and sustainable forestry framework and regulations.

EIA is noted for our hard-hitting video reports and these are used to powerful effect throughout, interspersed with interviews with key players. It sets out the anatomy of the campaign, from gathering evidence to activism and lobbying of governments and multilateral initiatives. The film documents how this change came about, the impact it has had and the challenges remaining.

Forests are the last line of defence – once they go, exploitation of the people will continue and the land they rely on will be exploited as well. It is vital that we continue to fight for good equitable forest governance.

Faith Doherty, EIA Forests Campaign Leader

This documentary is also available as a series of eight episodes.
Series Summary PDF

Fighting for the forests

Documenting a partnership forged to take on environmental crime

Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the production in this special episode of EIA’s What on Earth? podcast, in which Forests Team Leader Faith Doherty and Kaoem Telapak’s Mardi ‘Minang‘ Minangsari talk about the reasons for embarking on a major documentary project, the obstacles they had to overcome and the special relationship that has been built between both organisations in more than two decades of co-operative campaigning.

Faith and Minang at the film’s premiere screening at the Prince Charles Cinema, in London’s West End, July 2022 © EIA


For educators

This documentary is available for educational use by universities as a learning supplement. The documentary explores topics including but not limited to:

  • international relations
  • political ecology
  • international environmental law, as well as international trade law
  • indigenous land rights
  • greenwashing by palm oil companies
  • (international) sustainable development

We asked educators how it could be used:

“very interested in this film for my class on deforestation”
“will assign as homework and follow up with a class discussion”
“planning a screening for MA students studying Environment, Development and Policy”
“will screen it for undergraduate and masters students in political ecology related classes”.

For more information, contact
For a downloadable copy, contact [email protected]