For this installment of GFW User Profiles, we spoke with Sita Aripurnami and Edriana Noerdin, founding members of Women Research Institute, a Small Grants Fund recipients from Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sita and EdrianaSita Aripurnami and Edriana Noerdin.

How did you become interested in forests? We are interested in how development impacts the community, women in particular, and how forests fit into this equation. So forests are one of the issue areas we work on. Not many people are looking at this relationship between women and forests, but we think it is important to bring attention to. Women can be disproportionately negatively affected by the degradation of forests through the forest fires in Indonesia and forest concessions that drive deforestation. How did you first learn about Global Forest Watch? We heard about the program from World Resources Institute staff and we learned it would be an interesting tool to monitor forests and inform women and the community about our forests. With data on the platform we could assess the intersection of gender and forest conservation. What was the work your team completed with your Small Grants Fund Award? We used Global Forest Watch to empower women in civil society organizations. With the maps we could conduct evidence-based advocacy and teach women about palm oil concessions and the impact of fires in their areas. We trained groups of women in two districts. Was there anything that surprised you as you completed this project? It was amazing how much we could do with GFW and to have so much data at our fingertips. We learned a lot from the data.

FGD Sungai Berbari VillageFGD Sungai Berbari Village.
Gender training workshop held by Women Research Institute.Gender training workshop held by Women Research Institute.

What’s next? We hope to continue to use our training program to educate more women and empower them with the tools and information to monitor their forests. Hopefully we can continue to grow this work.

Reported by Liz Cole BANNER PHOTO: Gender training workshop held by Women Research Institute.