From felling trees for a timber baron’s personal profit to planting forests for a better future

This Sunday (21 March) is the International Day of Forests, a chance to celebrate the incalculable importance of these magnificent natural habitats around the world.

The theme for 2021 is ‘Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being’ and we’re pleased to be able to share the story of one man who has dramatically turned his life around to this end.


In August last year,  EIA and our Indonesian partner Kaoem Telapak went back to Tanjung Puting National Park – the place where it all began for our forest investigations in 1999.

At that time, Indonesia’s forests were in a state of chaos, with precious timber being plundered all across the country and illegal logging rife and unchecked.

Hendri, from Kumai, was one of those offered a job to log in the national park by notorious timber baron Abdul Rasid and his company Tanjung Lingga, earning a pittance compared to the profits made by the company.

But now, two decades later, Hendri is planting and reforesting the area and his feelings about that time are expressed in our new short film celebrating the International Day of Forests.

Faith Doherty, EIA Forests Campaigns Leader, said: “It just goes to show how opportunity can change a person’s life, how good investment with forests and the people who rely on them can make a world of difference!”