As the fifth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, Indonesia’s land use and industrial activities are offsetting the progress other nations are making towards limiting global temperature rise. In Indonesia, climate impacts are already being felt, and women bear the brunt of their ecological and economic effects. But women are also stepping forward as key leaders in designing solutions to solve critical environmental and conservation issues.
The Indonesia Women's Earth Alliance Grassroots Accelerator catalyzes the initiatives of Indonesian women leaders to protect their communities and ecosystems from environmental and climate threats like palm oil extraction, plastic pollution, and sea-level rise.
Through a 4-month training program to build capacity and skills, this initiative supports leaders from across the country to deepen their strategies, build powerful alliances, and scale their grassroots solutions for the environment.
Through this program, Indonesian women leaders work in interconnected sectors of forest and coastal ecosystem protection, land rights, Indigenous and local wisdom, gender equity, and movement building. Additionally, the Indigenous Conservation Track (ICT) is one of five focus areas within the Accelerator.
To date, the Indonesia Accelerator supported more than 50 women leaders from 20 of the 32 regions of Indonesia, creating a sustained impact for both people and planet. Leaders include Lily Salim in Sumatra, who is diverting plastics from the oceans in her city of 500,000 people, and Candra Dewi, who is using Indonesian law to fight coal plant pollution, impacting 4.2 million Balinese residents and fragile ecosystems.
The 2022 project goals are to:
- train 50 youth to be forest restoration and protection leaders by learning with Indigenous elders;
- restore 6 hectares of burned peatland in a recently protected ecology area;
- grow 10000 Indigenous trees in the protected area, and;
- train the Talekoi community located next to the protected area in collaborative agroforestry so that they can restore their livelihoods while protecting the restored forest.
The ICT will support Indigenous women leaders at the helm of scalable conservation initiatives in Northern Sumatra, Papua, and Kalimantan to accelerate their leadership, and to grow and scale their ocean, forest, mangrove, watershed, and land conservation solutions and impact. The Indonesia Accelerator has a yearly budget of USD $200,000. Seed Grants of $5,000 help the Accelerator Leaders mobilize their climate and environmental justice initiatives, implementing much-needed grassroots solutions in their communities and regions.
In Indonesia, WEA’s women-led climate and environmental initiatives hands-on technical training, including climate-resilient seed businesses, clean cookstoves, and other sustainable microenterprises, helping to protect forest ecosystems and benefitting hundreds of communities through cleaner air, safer water, and sustainable livelihoods.
The Indonesia Grassroots Accelerator is implemented with the support of a network of 35+ allied partner organizations, who nominate and identify environmental leaders to participate in an emergent and customized 4-month Designing for Action Curriculum and virtual Collaboratory conference. WEA identifies a Design Team, alumni mentors, trainers, and provides an Accelerator Grant upon completion. Additional philanthropic capital would extend the Accelerator to a third year, supporting a new cohort of women leaders.