Indonesian students shape sustainable forestry solutions through U.S. education

USAID and CIFOR support international graduate program

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Biodiversity conservation in such tropical countries as Indonesia requires protection of natural ecosystems, promotion of the sustainable management of forests, wetlands and other landscapes, and importantly, provision of opportunities for local people to contribute to solutions while enjoying sustainable livelihoods.

The creation and management of successful biodiversity policies and programs calls for highly skilled forest managers, conservationists, policy analysts and economists who can measure and evaluate environmental conditions, trends and assess the costs and benefits of sustainable outcomes.

They also need communications, negotiation and management skills to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders such as policymakers in government, business people, members of civil society and local communities.

Recognizing these needs, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), headquartered in Bogor on the outskirts of Jakarta, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), joined forces in 2015 to design the CIFOR-USAID Indonesia Forestry Fellowship Program. The aim of the program was to provide masters-degree education at U.S. universities in forestry, biodiversity, economics, natural resources governance and other scientific disciplines to a new generation of Indonesian environmental scientists, managers and leaders.

After a highly competitive selection process, the project sent students to four universities in the United States known for their leadership in forestry and environmental education: Northern Arizona University, the University of Missouri, the University of Florida and Yale University. Between 2015 and 2019, 20 students graduated and returned to Indonesia.

Here are their stories: https://www.cifor.org/feature/usaid-cifor-fellowship/

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