Indonesia’s Success in Environmental Governance: Engaging Women Climate Leaders and Forest Defenders

Event: Friday, April 28, 2023, Washington, DC

Between 2001 and 2021, Indonesia lost over 28 million hectares (69 million acres) of forest—an area larger than New Zealand, according to Global Forest Watch. This impacts traditional communities and falls particularly hard on women, who suffer disproportionately from displacement, disempowerment, and loss of land and livelihoods. As the largest country in Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s forests and peatlands store enormous quantities of carbon, critical to global efforts to combat climate change.

Fostering women’s climate leadership is critical to addressing the climate crisis. Given that women are at the front lines of the impact of deforestation, they are also best placed to respond with strategies and solutions. Especially at the local level, empowering and enabling women climate leaders to thrive increases the likelihood of better resource management and conservation outcomes. Women often have different relationships and networks than men that can further the work of slowing climate change. Including women in climate change processes has resulted in more stringent emissions policies at the national level.

The Asia Foundation’s environmental governance program in Indonesia promotes regulatory and law enforcement reforms to protect communities whose livelihoods heavily depend on traditional forest resources. The program invests in providing women with the tools and resources to assume forest defender roles traditionally given to men and facilitating communities’ governance and protection of their forests. This commitment has resulted in more women environmental leaders in these communities who have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to protect the forest from illegal miners, poachers, and loggers and to increase sustainable livelihoods for women. Join us to discuss environmental governance, social forestry, and the Foundation’s work in Indonesia with local partners, HAkA, and the Aceh Women Forest Defenders Movement.

Ambassador Robert Blake, Senior Director, McLarty Associates, and former U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia
Rahpriyanto Alam Surya Putra, Program Director, Environmental Governance, The Asia Foundation, Indonesia
Farwiza Farhan, Co-founder and Director, HAkA; Siumini, Head, LPHD Damaran Baru, Aceh Women Forest Defenders Movement
Jane Sloane, (moderator) Senior Director, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, The Asia Foundation

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