WEA Women in Action

Fransisca (Sisca) Ariantiningsih

Protecting the Sumatran Orangutan through person-centered engagement 

Sisca_profile

Region

North Sumatera, Indonesia

Affiliations & Roles

Director, Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari

Fransisca Ariantiningsih is a mother, conservationist, and environmental education facilitator. Her work in conservation started when she joined a conservation NGO in Medan, North Sumatra, after finishing her Master's degree at Queensland University in 2005. Since then, she has been working to conserve Sumatran biodiversity, particularly the Sumatran orangutan, which is the only great ape living in Sumatra. In 2018, Fransisca became the director of Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari, also known as the Orangutan Information Center (OIC). 

The Orangutan Information Center is a local conservation NGO based in Medan, North Sumatra that focuses on the conservation of Sumatran and Tapanuli Orangutans as well as their forest homes. To achieve this goal, OIC has four main programs: ecosystem restoration, Human Orangutan Conflict (HOC) mitigation, law enforcement, community development, and education. OIC is one of few conservation NGOs that not only invests a considerable amount of time directly working with the species on the ground, but also works with people that directly and indirectly affect the conservation of the species itself. Fransisca strongly believes that conservationists have to actively involve and empower people, especially those living adjacent to the forest, in education and conservation action. Over the last three years, OIC began emphasizing women empowerment through approaches such as home gardens and involving women in producing banana trees to be used as planting bags and paper. Fransisca's work is grounded in an understanding that empowering women and engaging them in conservation action will not only improve families' income but also help increase community awareness and support towards protecting biodiversity and the forests.

Fransisca aims to grow the programs of OIC by implementing new methods of impact evaluation and seeking out higher education to support the scientific work of her organization.

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