One day in June 2006 became a turning point in the life of Suhartono, now 42, a resident of Sanenrejo village in Temporejo district, Jember regency, East Java. Back then, he made a living by cutting down trees illegally in the protected Meru Betiri National Park.
On that particular day, after he had cut down a 20-meter glintungan (bishop wood tree), the log rolled down and fell onto his feet, causing him to drop a running chainsaw he was holding to cut the log.
“The chainsaw fell onto my left calf, tearing the muscle. I was immediately carried by eight other loggers for 2 kilometers out of the forest. Luckily, I received treatment at the Jember Regional General Hospital,” Suhartono told The Jakarta Post in early February.
“On that same day, I uttered my intention to stop stealing trees f...
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