Farwiza Farhan

Environmental Activist

Farwiza is one of the most fearless environmental activists of her generation. Leading the fight to protect the Leuser ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia, one of the last precious ecosystems in the world, where Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos still roam side by side. Farwiza focuses on ground level species protection on the one hand and high level legal advocacy on the other. She built a grassroots community movement, that succeeded in advocating for law enforcement against palm oil companies that cause huge swathes of forest fires, as well as launching a citizen lawsuit to empower local communities to have meaningful involvement in policy making. The palm oil companies were subsequently fined US $26million and the plaintiff in the citizen lawsuits expanded to create new grassroots environmental defenders. Farwiza’s work through the Forest, Nature and Environment Aceh Foundation (Yayasan HAkA) has taken on big industry and governments in order to protect this land. Farwiza and her work in the Leuser ecosystem were also featured in Leonardo Dicaprio’s documentary ‘Before the Flood’.

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