Friendship Between The North and South

The stories of the partners’ efforts are summarized in this book as a lesson to encourage and save forests in a joint movement. This book is also a monument of friendship between Siemenpuu from Finland in the far north and its partners in Indonesia, the southern part of the world as the title says “Friendship between North and South”.


Siemenpuu Foundation started funding Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) environmental initiatives in the Global South in 2002. The Indonesian civil society has been our partner since the beginning, so this year our journey together turns 20 years. During these years we have supported 75 projects designed and implemented by local Indonesian CSOs.

Altogether we have granted approximately 2,42 million Euros for these projects, and the implementing CSOs have contributed approximately 240 000 Euros in voluntary work, donated goods or funds as self-financing to carry them out.

Project themes have varied from peasant agriculture and environmental policy advocacy to forest campaigning, strengthening of community-based forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable livelihoods in forest areas, communications work and legal monitoring. The key element in all the initiatives has been strengthening the civil society and local communities themselves.
It is an honour for Siemenpuu to have witnessed the inspiration of our Indonesian partners to produce this publication titled FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE NORTH AND SOUTH: Stories of Those Who Fought to Save Indonesia’s Environment with Siemenpuu from 2002 to 2021.

The way they brainstormed the concept of this publication at the partners’ meeting held in 2019, and then jointly analysed the 20 years of CSO work, as well as turned it into a publication, is a true description of the nature of our partners and our partnership with them.

It has consisted of vivid discussions, willingness for collaboration, search for shared objectives and sharing the lessons learnt together. Our partners have not perceived us as a distant funder, but as peers that form part of the global environmental and social movement.

In addition to project reporting, over the years many of Siemenpuu’s staff members and activists have had the opportunity to visit our partners and gain a deeper understanding of the forest and civil society context in Indonesia.

We have in our turn shared the Indonesian realities to the Finnish audience through our communications work.

At Siemenpuu we hope the stories told in this publication inspire both the Indonesian, as well as the global audience to continue working for a world where the immense value of biodiverse forests cannot be overlooked.

These stories show how local community members and environmental CSOs join their forces to demand decision-makers and authorities as duty bearers for effective regulation of natural resource use and its prompt implementation.

How they carry out continued communications and awareness-raising work. How they plant trees and block draining canals to reforest. How they innovate ways for local communities to gain sustainable livelihoods in forest areas. How they demand collective land use and natural resource rights for the communities, as well as free and safe space for the civil society.

They face conflicting interests and harassment by industries exploiting natural resources or authorities.

Many times, as environmental defenders our partners risk their own safety and may doubt whether their work is worthwhile. Needless to say, that it is.

Siemenpuu is thankful for everyone who shared their story through this publication and wishes them perseverance to continue their work.#

To read the full story, download the book here:

About Nurul Fitria

Staf Advokasi dan Kampanye Jikalahari

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