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ABC News Spotlights Lotus Circle Honorees HAkA and The Asia Foundation’s Social Forestry Programs in Indonesia

June 7, 2024 — ABC News quotes our program director for Environmental Governance in Indonesia, Alam Surya Putra, in a feature on women forest rangers combating deforestation in Aceh. The article also features our 2023 Lotus Circle honorees, the Forest, Nature, and Environment Aceh Foundation (HAkA).

In Indonesia, this particular social forestry program, SETAPAK, has replicated and expanded to over 35 groups across the country and receives increasing interest and support from the public and private sectors, most prominently the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office of the UK government. 

The centering of women in forest management is crucial for the success of social forestry programs, said Rahpriyanto Alam Surya Putra, The Asia Foundation’s program director for environmental governance in Indonesia, which has helped organize meetings between the women-led groups.

A survey of 1,865 households conducted by the foundation found that when women are involved in community forest management, it leads to increased household income and more sustainable forest governance.

But women-led forestry management still faces challenges in Indonesia, he concedes. Some traditionally patriarchal communities lack an understanding of the benefits of women’s participation. And even when women are empowered to engage in forestry, they’re still expected to take care of household chores and children.

Learn more about our social forestry programs and listen to our InAsia podcast featuring Alam Surya Putra in “Cultivating Women’s Forest Stewardship: The 100 Champions Network” and hear from HAkA’s Farwiza Farhan in “The Women Defending Indonesia’s Forests.”

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
[email protected]

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