Irene Sohilait is from Ambon Island, a small city in the eastern part of Indonesia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Science from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. From 2006 to 2009, she worked as a waste management consultant in a United Nations Development Program that collaborated with the Ambon Government. Following that she worked as a public servant and was later promoted to Chief of Integrated Waste Management at the Environmental and Waste Department of Ambon City Government. She is responsible for managing and recycling all city waste. She has additionally devoted herself to building a Sekolah Alam geared especially towards children scavenging and living in landfills. With this, she provides environmental education for 102 elementary school-aged children.
Irene is the founder of an environmental community in the Moluccas Province called Green Moluccas. The community involves programs in environmental education and socialization, tree planting, coastal and river clean-up, and numerous other environmental sectors. In 2018, Green Moluccas won the award, KANAL RUDIPARA, which commends them as a notably “Committed Organization.” Irene also built an environmental foundation called KAMBOTI, which works to tackle environmental issues in the Moluccas Province.