Conservation news

Podcast: Sumatran conservation solutions that empower kids, women and communities

  • The giant Indonesian island of Sumatra faces many environmental challenges, but there is also tremendous hope and good progress thanks to the work of educators and activists like those on our podcast this week.
  • Farwiza Farhan is the founder of Forest, Nature & Environment Aceh (HAkA) which works to protect the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, by empowering communities in general and women in particular with trainings and opportunities that inspire them to protect their forests.
  • Pungky Nanda Pratama also joins the show to describe how through the Jungle Library Project & Sumatra Camera Trap Project he works to open the eyes of kids to the need for protecting their fabulous natural heritage.
  • This is the final installment in our special 10 episode podcast series about the astounding natural richness–and huge conservation challenges–of Sumatra.

‘I’m amazed how resilient, adaptable and optimistic the people of Sumatra are,’ conservationist and HAkA Sumatra founder Farwiza Farhan says in the first moments of this podcast episode about the women and communities she works with, for the final installment in Mongabay’s special series on Sumatra.

The giant Indonesian island faces many environmental challenges as the series discusses, but there is also tremendous hope and good progress thanks to the work of people like her and educator Pungky Nanda Pratama, who also joins the show to describe how his Jungle Library Project & Sumatra Camera Trap Project are opening the eyes of the next generation to the need for protecting their fabulous natural heritage.

Host Mike DiGirolamo shares the effectiveness of their efforts, what they are hopeful for, their biggest challenges, and the role of grassroots organizing in protecting and revitalizing the land, wildlife, and people of Sumatra.

Listen here:

Learn more about these guests’ work:

Farwiza Farhan. Photo courtesy of HAkA.

Mongabay Explores Sumatra is a special podcast series that dives into the unique beauty, natural heritage, and key issues facing this one of a kind landscape by speaking with people working to study, understand, and protect it. Episode 1 features a Goldman Prize winner from Sumatra about what makes his home so special, listen here, and further programs have focused on the people working to save the Sumatran rhino, the reasons why deforestation is so widespread in the province, and how a hydropower dam in the Batang Toru Ecosystem threatens core habitat of the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan. The majesty and plight of the Sumatran tiger has also been discussed during the series, as well as that of Sumatran elephants and Sumatran orangutans. Plus we discussed the good ideas and hard work driving the restoration of Sumatra’s massive peatlands which have been much degraded for agriculture and paper production.

Pungky Nanda Pratama with kids in his environmental education program in Air Lingkar village, Pagar Gunung District, Lahat, South Sumatra, near the border of Isau Isau Wildlife Reserve. Image courtesy of Pungky Nanda Pratama.

Here is a short video about a women’s group’s initiative to protect their forest for the health of their communities – HAkA worked closely with them to obtain a permit that will allow them to manage this forest for at least 35 years:

To hear more episodes, one can subscribe via the podcast provider of choice just by searching for the Mongabay Newscast. Mongabay also offers a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, download it for instant access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

Sumatran environmental educator Pungky Nanda Pratama with the biggest flower on Earth, Rafflesia arnoldii. Photo by Alek Sander.

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