Novia Widyaningtyas low

 

Novia Widyaningtyas, Head of REDD+ Division, Directorate General of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia. 

 

What drives you to work for forests and land use issues?

I studied forestry when I was in college, and this gave me a basic knowledge of how important forests are for people and for my country. During my career thereafter, I began to understand that forests are not just groups of trees and animals. Forests are complex ecosystems that have an impact on multiple dimensions, which range from biophysical to socio-cultural. This makes me excited to work in forestry and in REDD+. To coordinate the implementation of REDD+ in my country is one of my current responsibilities, and I look forward to meeting this challenge!

 

Why are forests important to you from your perspective as a woman?

To us Indonesian people, forests are an important part of life. Just like a mother who nurtures her children, forests provide many things to people in order to sustain their lives. Just as I care about my children as a woman, forests too care about the future of life on this planet. Just like women, forests are strong and tender at the same time. Forests have many aspects that have to be managed in a balanced manner.

 

How can we ensure that there is more participation and leadership taken by women in forests and land use issues?

I think there is a change today; the forestry sector is no longer male-dominated. According to my view, forestry needs more women's participation and leadership. Women and men need to work together hand in hand, as each has a role to play according to nature. The intuition and wisdom of women is important for the policy-making process related to forestry. It is important to involve women in decision-making even more; their voices need to be amplified and heard, not just echoes in the background.