The rate of unsustainable environmental practices is one of the highest in Indonesia. Telapak came into existence in response to the rise of illegal logging activities and the depletion of marine life. The lack of education and awareness of environmental issues have been draining the country of its natural resources since its colonial days. Concessions exploit the land and some businesses use bribery and other illicit means to gain permits. When Telapak first started, there was no effective monitoring mechanism to oversee the quota system for the harvesting of timber, coral and fishing. Indigenous people living near these natural resources were also under conflict with large companies over land and resource rights. In response to these issues, Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto, Silverius Oscar Unggul and four other friends started Telapak.