The Asia Foundation Selected for Google.org Impact Challenge to Empower Female Stewardship Over Indonesia’s Forest Resources

November 8, 2021 — The Asia Foundation is one of 34 selected fund recipients of the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, receiving USD 1 million for a forest stewardship empowerment project for women and girls in Indonesia. The project responds to the call for the global nonprofit community to create a more equitable economic reality for females through bold and innovative new initiatives.

The initiative will launch in early 2022 and seeks to enhance economic opportunities for 1,000 women and girls in Indonesia by helping them secure access to 25,500 hectares of forests and land. Significantly, the project will align with the Indonesian government’s Social Forestry Program (SFP)—a national effort to provide local communities with the management responsibility of 12.7 million hectares of forest—however, is currently male-dominated with only five percent of female representatives.

This project seeks to help Indonesian women and girls overcome barriers and discrimination, whether through laws or sociocultural factors, by equipping them with crucial skills and resources to navigate the social forestry permit process, participate in decision-making, and gain access to economic opportunities. The Asia Foundation will lead activities like developing non-timber forest products and getting involved in creating tourism villages. These efforts will be facilitated through:

  • Training and workshops designed to improve product processing, product quality, and production efficiency
  • A women and girls entrepreneurship association to facilitate peer exchanges, encourage community support and create learning and networking opportunities to aid beneficiaries in starting or expanding small businesses
  • Access to the private sector and technologies that can help women and girls and grow their customer base
four people sit at a table

INDONESIA. Jakarta. 2021. Portraits of Asia Foundation leaders. From L-R: Program Officer Margaretha Tri Wahyuningsih, Deputy Alam Surya Putra, Deputy Country Representative Hana Satriyo, Country Representative Sandra Hamid.

Hana Satriyo, The Asia Foundation Indonesia’s deputy country representative, said, “Women are effective stewards of Indonesia’s forest resources. Our research and experience on the ground have shown that when women are meaningfully involved in community forest management–it leads to increased household incomes, more sustainable forest governance, and greater gender equality. With this project, our ultimate goal is to significantly enhance the role of women and girls in social forestry and create a scalable model that can be adapted across provinces, and eventually, countries, for equitable and sustainable economic and environmental outcomes.”

“Globally, women have been nearly twice as likely to lose their jobs during COVID-19 as men. It’s vital that we elevate and support work that empowers women and girls to reach their full economic potential, especially in marginalized communities,” remarks Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org. “The pandemic recovery must be an inclusive one, and we know that when we invest in women and girls, we all benefit.”

 

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation.

 

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