United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Empowering 1000 Women in Tropical Forest

Global Compact Network Indonesia (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)

    Global Compact Network Indonesia is collaborating with Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas and Martha Tilaar Group (MTG) to empower 1000 women in tropical forest, as these both companies are committed to empower women in their business operations. After the launch of APP Sinar Mas Forest Conservation Policy in 2013, the company has pledged to improve local community welfare through community empowerment programs. Meanwhile, women’s empowerment has always been MTG’s core priority because of women trafficking issue in Indonesia. This shared belief has led to collaboration between APP and MTG in a program that specifically targets the women around APP’s mills operations and pulpwood suppliers, aiming to encourage deforestation-free alternative livelihoods by providing knowledge, education, and training.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    The commitment to collaborate between APP Sinar Mas and Martha Tilaar Group was signed during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on September 24, 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters. The program of women’s empowerment to improve welfare and protect the environment takes place on January 29, 2019 until December 31, 2020. It is a cost sharing collaboration where APP facilitates the accommodation and logistics and MTG provides trainers and skills support. The goal of the program is to provide training to 1,000 women by 2021 hoping that it can create new sustainable entrepreneurships in the targeted communities by diversifying their sources of income and giving them ideas to utilize potential plants in their surrounding as raw materials so they do not only depend on mainstream materials like palm oil. The main activities of this program are: • Training to identify and utilize natural potential, especially herbal plants for family health and environmental sustainability; • Link and match the existing products from the APP Sinarmas Group Patronage Women Group with the needs of the Martha Tilaar Group and its network; • Full scholarship program to become spa therapists who are eligible to work in Martha Tilaar Spa around Indonesia; • Beauty Class training; • Edu-eco-tourism Village.


    The outputs generated from the implementation are: - Participants understand the goal of the empowerment program by APP and MTG is to improve social welfare and protect the environment, especially the forests. - Participants receive additional knowledge about how to identify and make use of herbs around them to raise their income. - Participants acquire basic skills needed to upgrade themselves and increase self-confidence to later develop more advanced skills. The enthusiasm of the participants was very apparent during the herbal plants preservation training where some groups even prepared land to plant the herbs. Educating, training, and involving women in business line are only some of the ways to empower the under-privileged women to be more independent individuals who are able to support themselves and others. This program is expected to have long-term effects in the attempt to reduce women trafficking, promote gender equality, and raise the living standard in a sustainable manner.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    The main challenge is the weather condition and if the training takes place in a remote area with inadequate road and infrastructure, it becomes even more difficult to reach the location. Properly prepared materials and supporting equipment are important to make sure the participants can understand the material presented and follow the next practices. Supports from the community and local government are crucial so the training that has been conducted can be developed further to get maximum benefits. For the edu-eco-tourism villages program, the concept has been developed but the implementation had to be delayed because of the pandemic.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The opportunity for replication is big because the skills to use herbs to make healthy food and drinks are very beneficial not only for family consumption but also for business opportunity to increase income. Maximizing the use of existing land for herbal plantation can also become an alternative effort to prevent land and forest fires, keep the economy moving, and maintain food security in the local community. This kind of program is very suitable for places where most of the people still depend on agriculture and do not have enough knowledge on how to use the resources efficiently and sustainably.

    COVID-19 Impact

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trained women who have become entrepreneurs are able to continue supporting their family economically and keep the economy moving in their respective community. The program has also empowered the women to maintain the food security by utilizing their local ingredients and maximizing the land use.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    29 January 2019 (start date)
    31 December 2020 (date of completion)
    Global Compact Network Indonesia
    Other beneficiaries

    Originally targeting to reach 1,000 women, this program has trained more than 1,600 women in 80 villages and across 5 provinces in Indonesia (Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, East Kalimantan, and West Kalimantan): • Training to identify and utilize natural potential, especially herbal plants for family health and environmental sustainability: 830 women involved • Beauty Class training: 842 women • Spa therapists scholarship: 11 girls

    More information
    Contact Information

    Soraya, Empowering 1000 Women in Tropical Forest