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Story Publication logo March 23, 2022

The Repentance Path of Former Leuser Illegal Loggers who are now Forest Rangers (bahasa Indonesia)

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A former forest encroacher is now a forest recovery actor.

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit VICE. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.



Illustration of illegal logging activities in the Sumatran rainforest. Image by ULET Ifansasti/Getty Images.

The sun was shining hot and scorching when VICE visited Tanjung Aman Village, Darut Hasanah District, southeast Aceh, early January 2022. The mangosteen and durian trees that thrived in the villagers’ gardens were not enough to ward off the heat. 


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“Long ago, the air was still cool and cold, but now it’s hot,” said Adiansyah, a resident of Tanjung Aman Village. For a dozen years he has been pursuing a career as an illegal logger in Leuser forest. The middle-aged man unhesitatingly admitted that what he had done so many years ago had an impact on the sweltering weather he now routinely feels. 

“How can the forest in this area not be deforested?” he told VICE. “lllegal logging activities have been ongoing sporadically for years.”


Graph by World Bank.

Graph by Global Forest Watch.

One of the Leuser areas in southeast Aceh that was severely damaged by illegal logging. Image by Yudha Pohan. Indonesia, 2022.
Video by VICE. Indonesia, 2022.

Adiansyah, one of the former Leuser forest encroachers in southeast Aceh region, repented after being caught in 2019. Image by Yudha Pohan. Indonesia, 2022.

Yashut, an environmental activist who initiated a forest farmer conservation movement in southeast Aceh region. His movement embraces former illegal loggers. Image by Yudha Pohan. Indonesia, 2022.

Iskandar, a former Leuser forest encroacher who gave up his oil palm plantation for conservation. Image by Yudha Pohan. Indonesia, 2022.
Video by Tonggo Simangunsong. Indonesia, 2022.

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