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WEA Women of the 2019 Indonesia Accelerator: Rubama

Project: Building Climate Resiliency in Indonesia

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Rubama is a community organizer from Aceh, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She has worked for fourteen years to engage the women of her community in an effort to protect the natural resources of the region. 

After her region was ravaged by a tsunami in 2004, Rubama recognized how the approach to disaster relief resulted in the degradation of the community social fabric and values, and how women became an increasingly vulnerable group in an already patriarchal society. Equipped with a vision and her personal mission of community resilience, Rubama strove to regain social cohesion while promoting sustainability and created a waste management program for her village. She continues to develop this resilience through her current work at the Gampong Nusa community, which she has transformed into a sustainable tourism destination. Rubama has advocated for the local community to adopt sustainable waste management, has trained women about upcycling plastic waste and composting, and has developed alternative economic revenue for the local community.

As an organizer, she is deeply passionate about establishing ecological justice based on gender-equality in her community. Working alongside other women in Aceh, Rubama collaborates with and trains them in creating handiwork, growing produce, and upcycling. Rubama also gives local women’s groups the platform they need in order to voice their concerns and fight for their rights in realizing ecological justice. She promotes social forestry, a village forest strategy which includes and encourages women’s engagement in discussing issues that disproportionately impact them. In this spirit, Rubama serves as a program officer for HAkA, an Aceh-based NGO working to restore the forest and protect the overall environment.

Rubama is furthering her advocacy work through networking and education, and will be apart of the 2019 Women’s Earth Alliance Indonesia Accelerator. She hopes to gain knowledge on project management tools and avenues of impact assessment to help strengthen her existing community organization skills. During this accelerator WEA will work with Rubama, along with her women leader peers, to develop strategies for effective communication, resource mobilization, and leadership, that will expand the reach and scale of their advocacy work. With this gained support and knowledge from the accelerator, Rubama will be able to return to Aceh with tools to advance her vision of gender-equality based ecological justice for her entire community, as well as a developed network to support and scale the impact of her work. 

Read more about the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, and stay updated on how the women leaders are doing on the WEA-Indonesia Facebook page.

WEA Women of the 2019 Indonesia Accelerator: Raihal Fajri

Project: Building Climate Resiliency in Indonesia

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Raihal Fajri is an activist from Aceh, Meunasah Manyang, Indonesia. After a tsunami devastated her region in 2004, Raihal witnessed a drastic deterioration in the quality of water coming from her community’s water source, which was located next to a nearby concrete mine. Noticing the way this pollution harmed the women and children of her area, she decided to take urgent action, engaging stakeholders such as the cement mine leadership, the government, and the media in the conversation. Furthermore, Raihal comes from a predominantly Muslim region which is governed by Sharia law, and she recognized the critical necessity of engaging her community’s religious leadership in order to make change possible.

By highlighting the connection between the Qur’an’s teachings and the importance of maintaining a healthy environment, Raihal garnered the support she needed to step into leadership and eventually mobilized her entire community around the issue. Her activism brought substantial attention to the mining pollution her community faced, and she succeeded in revoking the mine’s permission to operate.

Since then, Raihal has strived to find ways to extend her network and cultivate her advocacy around the need for a safe and healthy environment. Raihal currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kahati Institute, where she uses her experience as a mediator, analyst, and leader to influence public policy and encourage transparency in the environmental sector.

As a member of the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, Raihal will receive facilitated skill-building, knowledge exchanges with other leading environmental advocates like her, and work with groups that will dig deeper into environmental technologies, networks, and communities of practice from which she can draw in her activism. With this training and support system, Raihal will return to Aceh with a deeper understanding of how to best build her network and bring about policy changes that will ensure clean water and a healthier environment for her community and region. 

Read more about the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, and stay updated on how the women leaders are doing on the WEA-Indonesia Facebook page.

WEA Voice: Emmanuela Shinta

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In a moment of global environmental crisis, Indonesia is ground zero. In response, it is the women of Indonesia who are rising to meet these challenges — women like Emmanuela Shinta, Dayak leader, environmentalist and filmmaker from Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). WEA recently hosted Shinta in California, where she shared how her community and environment are profoundly impacted by the world’s palm oil consumption.

Stay tuned:  WEA’s headed to Indonesia in 2019 to partner with Shinta and others to uplift critical solutions

World WEAvers Salon: Emmanuela Shinta and the Impacts of Palm Oil in Indonesia

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As a team and community, we feel an urgency now more than ever before to broaden our circles and bring people together. Introducing World WEAvers Salons — small, informal gatherings of friends, neighbors and community members — to provide a space for us all to learn about important issues affecting our Earth and frontline communities, as well as generate innovative solutions to meet these challenges with hope and agility. We invite you to reach out if you are interested in attending, hosting, or have an idea for a speaker/topic for an upcoming salon.
 

 

 

In a moment of global environmental crisis, Indonesia is ground zero. Widespread deforestation and related wildfires make it the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases and endanger the survival of indigenous and endemic species, including the Sumatran orangutan. Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and toxic smog are causing mass migration, transforming entire communities into climate refugees. Rivers and lakes are being consumed by plastic waste, coral bleaching is destroying ocean habitats, and rising seas are swallowing islands.

In response to the onslaught of environmental threats and crises facing local communities, and by extension the world, it is the women of Indonesia who are rising to meet these challenges.

Earlier this month, WEA had the honor of hosting Emmanuela Shinta, a Dayak leader, environmentalist and filmmaker from Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), for an intimate gathering to share how her community and environment continues to be affected by the world’s palm oil consumption.
 

 

WEA first met Shinta during Indonesia’s great Palm Oil Haze of 2015. At that time, Shinta was deeply immersed in mentoring young women activists who were passionately raising awareness about their country’s mass deforestation and burning of peat-rich rainforests to make room for mono crops of oil palm trees. This palm oil was to be used across the world in processed foods, beauty products and biofuels. In 2016, Shinta started the YOUTH ACT CAMPAIGN, a youth movement to end the forest fires and haze that have been happening for 20 years in Kalimantan.

Shinta is the founder of Ranu Welum Foundation, which works on issues of social culture, humanity, and environment in Kalimantan. She is at the forefront of taking an active and peaceful role in preserving the heritage, humanity, and environment of her community.
 

 
Learn more. Take action.

Did you know?

  • At 66 million tons annually, palm oil is the most commonly produced vegetable oil
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil
  • Indonesia temporarily surpassed the United States in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in 2015
  • More than 700 land conflicts in Indonesia are related to the palm oil industry

 

Here are several resources for diving deeper into the impacts of palm oil on Kalimantan, and taking action in our own lives to shift our consumption habits away from this devastating industry.