Indonesian Crusader Recognized For Battling Illegal Loggers

Indonesian Crusader Recognized For Battling Illegal Loggers

Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto, an Indonesian mountaineer who battled illegal loggers, is one of a handful of recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, which are given to people in Asia who have improved society, according to the Washington Post.

In the 1990s, Ruwindrijarto organized a group called Telapak to carry out undercover investigations of logging operations in Indonesia. With the help of the London-based NGO Environmental Investigation Agency, Ruwindrijarto exposed illegal logging operations that pressured his country to tighten timber trade regulations. During an investigation in 2000 in cooperation with EIA, Ruwindrijarto was beaten and kidnapped during his attempt to expose wrongdoing. In addition to his investigations, Ruwindrijarto helped organize local cooperatives to sustainably manage more than 494,200 acres of forest.

According to the Manila, Philippines-based organization in charge of the awards, Ruwindrijarto’s “courageous advocacy of natural resource management based on social and ecological justice, and his committed leadership in offering entrepreneurial alternatives to resource exploitation that place at its center the welfare of the people themselves.”

After a 1999 joint investigation with Ruwindrijarto, EIA produced “The Final Cut,” a documentary detailing the investigation of Abdul Rasyid, a tycoon and head of the Tanjung Lingga logging company, who was plundering ramin logs from Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park.

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