YKAN Appoints Dr. Herlina Hartanto as New Executive Director to Lead Conservation Work in Indonesia

Conservation veteran will oversee diverse programs to protect the environmental health of Indonesia.

JAKARTA (July 6, 2020) — Dr. Herlina Hartanto, a leading Indonesian conservation expert whose work has advanced the protection of tropical forests, has been selected as the new Executive Director of Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesian main partner. Over the past several months, Dr. Hartanto served as Interim Country Director of YKAN, where she has worked for over 10 years.

In her new role, Dr. Hartanto will lead the organization’s multi-stakeholder conservation programs in Indonesia, from community-managed forests in East Kalimantan and other provinces that reduce carbon emissions, to marine initiatives such as creating new protected areas and improving fisheries health through stronger policy, supply chain reform, and direct engagement with communities to sustainably harvest vulnerable, high-value species such as snapper and grouper.

Dr. Hartanto is a global expert in tropical forest conservation. In her previous role as YKAN/TNC Terrestrial Program Director, she led work to conserve forest ecosystems through sustained engagement with a coalition of local communities, companies, and local and national governments. Her wealth of experience includes community-centered approaches to forest conservation, strategies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), jurisdictional green development, and designing, managing, and evaluating bilateral- and multilateral-funded projects. Under her leadership, the organization has developed an approach called Communities Inspiring Actions for Change (known in Indonesia by its Bahasa acronym, SIGAP).

SIGAP aims to improve village governance, strengthen community’s access to and rights over forests or others natural resources, and improve people’s well-being through more diverse green livelihood development. The observed impacts on communities during the pilot phase have led the regional governments to adopt the approach. With this government ownership, SIGAP has been implemented in more than 100 villages in East Kalimantan. Furthermore, the organization has helped forge a public-people-private partnership to protect orangutan habitat covering a total of around 532,000 hectares in the Wehea-Kelay Landscape, East Kalimantan, home to more than 1,200 orangutans. Dr. Hartanto currently chairs the Oversight Committee of the debt-for-nature swap program, known as Tropical Forest Conservation Act for Kalimantan, that has committed to award more than USD 12.5 million of grants to local organizations to support the implementation of sustainable forest management in Kalimantan. 

"In order to be successful, conservation missions do not only rely on one's lifelong experience. It rides heavily on good governance and hands-on implementation efforts. I believe Herlina’s leadership will open new doors of possibilities and opportunities to continue and lead YKAN’s conservation agendas in Indonesia” says Shanti L. Poesposoetjipto, Chair of the Board of Patron, YKAN, who was involved in the selection process.

Executive Director, Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN)
Herlina Hartanto Executive Director, Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) © Devan King

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead the Indonesia Program. Since I joined the program ten years ago, I have had the privilege to take part in the efforts to transform practices, build capacities, influence policies, and facilitate change. I look forward to continue working closely with my talented team, colleagues across the organization, dedicated board members, and our partners, in tackling the most pressing environment and conservation challenges for the benefits of people and nature in Indonesia” says Dr. Hartanto.

YKAN’s conservation priorities in Indonesia are to tackle climate change, as well as to protect lands and waters. Working together with governments, communities and partners, YKAN supports sustainable management of forests, home to hundreds of thousands of village communities and endangered species, such as orangutans. YKAN also helps bring together stakeholders with a shared commitment to green development to reduce carbon emissions in East Kalimantan through the implementation of the Green Growth Compact. More than 200 institutions have taken part as signatories of the Compact and/or as partners in the implementation of the public-private-people partnerships to tackle the conservation and development challenges in the province. One of the significant achievements under the Green Growth Compact is the commitment of the provincial and district leaders to protect around 400,000 hectares of high conservation value forest slated for oil palm development.

The organization also works in the country to create larger networks of marine protected areas, helps to transform the management of Indonesia’s coastal and marine resources to advance sustainable development and climate change adaptation. It strives to reform fishery policy, incentivize transformation of supply chains and business practices of fisheries and engage local communities to sustainably manage harvesting of high-value snappers and groupers, and tuna. In 2018, YKAN initiated the Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance (MERA), a national multi-stakeholder platform to achieve a 5-year comprehensive goal that focuses on building knowledge to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities, resources and assets, as well as mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Dr. Hartanto joined TNC Indonesia in 2010, and then continued her service in YKAN in 2016. Prior to TNC, she undertook research in several countries on water-related projects and indicators for sustainable forest management, adaptive collaborative management of community forests, and collaborative monitoring. She earned a PhD from Monash University, Australia, where she focused on the political ecology of customary forest institutions in Central Sumatra, Indonesia.


About YKAN:

Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is an Indonesian Foundation (Yayasan) that has a mission to conserve and protect the nature. In Indonesia, YKAN is the main partner of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a science-based organization and experienced in advancing conservation throughout the world since 1951. For more information, visit

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.