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First Person: The Indonesian power ranger

© National Geographic Indonesia/Edy Susanto

Fadlun Arrayan Bonde (Ega)
The community rangers help to protect endangered species. There are mammals, reptiles, and more than 100 bird species that make their home in the park.

The community rangers help to protect endangered species. There are mammals, reptiles, and more than 100 bird species that make their home in the park.

Working with national park forest rangers, we also play a role in stamping out crime and combating the illicit fauna and flora market and illegal wildlife trade.

‘Conservation lady’

It’s kind of a little bit mystical. For example, according to stories, if you see a lot of ants coming up out of the ground, it means it’s going to rain very soon. My life changed in November 2020 when I joined the initiative, the first of its kind in Indonesia. It feels very satisfying to know that our effort can change someone’s life for the better. Like when we can facilitate community groups to get certifications, enabling them to access sustainable markets for their products. I think there is so much more I can do for nature, but also for improving myself and my community for better opportunities.

Cross generation inspiration

Empowering rangers

© Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park Authority/CIWT Project Indonesia “I have always been passionate about nature and conservation. I grew up in a village surrounded by forests. Both of my grandfathers inspired me by sharing their local and traditional wisdom and encouraged me to know the forest and plant trees. They told me about nature’s power and explained that the language of nature is the oldest language on Earth, and so we have to listen to it.

Women rangers are helping to stamp out wildlife crime in Indonesia by working with local communities.
I feel encouraged to talk about conservation and engage more with my community. I am motivated to talk to people. It’s funny, but people in my village now think of me not only as Ega but as “the conservation lady”, or the person you need to contact when you spot suspicious illegal wildlife trade activities.

The message from my grandfathers is that the energy and the language of the nature should be appreciated and respected.

‘Staying silent won’t change anything’

I have one big message for young woman: be brave. Don’t be scared to start working for conservation. You need to encourage yourself to take the first steps because the first step is very important. It’s not as scary as you think.” I feel proud about that.

If they are well prepared from an early age, they will carry knowledge about the conservation and wildlife into the future.

  • Although women play a vital role in managing natural resources and are disproportionally affected by biodiversity loss, they are often excluded from decision-making and leadership opportunities, so the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched a series of innovative projects in the Asia-Pacific region to change that.
  • Women rangers are also working to protect land and empower their communities in China, India, Viet Nam, and other countries.
  • In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, these conservation projects are helping to combat climate change, empower women, and help them to transform their communities.


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