Global Experts Join Indonesian Conservation Foundation


Deputy Chair of Indonesian Presidential Task Force on REDD+, Former President of Rainforest
Alliance and UNESCO Ambassador Join Belantara Foundation



Jakarta, 24 May 2016: The Belantara Foundation today announced that three prominent global experts have come on board to provide proficient leadership and advice to the organization. Agus Sari, former Deputy Chair of the Indonesian REDD+ Management Agency, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for Belantara Foundation while Tensie Whelan, former President of Rainforest Alliance and Dr. Ir. T.A. Fauzi Soelaiman, Indonesia’s Ambassador to UNESCO, will be joining the Advisory Board in counseling the Foundation on its technical work, partnership development and international promotion strategy.

Agus Sari was the Deputy Chair of the Indonesian REDD+ Management Agency in charge of planning and financing. Prior to that, he was the Chair of Funding Instruments under the Indonesian Presidential Task Force on REDD+ where he led efforts to design a financial and funding mechanism that incentivizes activities related to greenhouse gas emission reduction due to deforestation and forest degradation. A Fulbright Scholar who graduated from University of California (Berkeley, USA) with a degree in Energy and Resources Group, he was previously the Country Director and Regional Policy Director for Ecosecurities, the world’s largest carbon asset development company. Ecosecurities Indonesia, under his leadership, was awarded Asia’s Fastest-Growing Renewable Energy Company by Frost & Sullivan in 2009.

Until 2007, Agus Sari was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a Nobel Prize-winning panel and the world’s leading authority on climate change. The former Executive Director of Pelangi, an environmental think-tank, also lectured Environmental Science at the Indonesian Institute of Technology in Serpong, Indonesia as well as Carbon Politics at the Bren School of Environment at the University of California (Santa Barbara, USA).

When announcing the appointment of the new Executive Director, Marzuki Usman, Chair of the Belantara Foundation Board of Trustees and former Indonesian Minister of Forestry, stated, “We are delighted to have Mr. Agus taking the reins for Belantara Foundation and are most certain that with his wealth of knowledge and experience together with his track record and achievements, we are certain he will lead it towards successfully achieving its goals”.

Marzuki further added, “The Belantara Foundation is also most fortunate to have two distinguished colleagues joining our Advisory Board. The commitment by Ms. Whelan and Dr. Fauzi towards sustainability and conservation of natural heritage is renowned and will be most beneficial in providing expert advice to the Foundation’s efforts and initiatives.”

Tensie Whelan is a Clinical Professor of Business and Society, as well as Director of the Center for Sustainable Business at the Stern School of Business, New York University (NYU). She has 25 years of experience working on local and international environmental and sustainability issues. During her tenure as President of Rainforest Alliance, she successfully increased the organization’s budget from USD 4.5 million to USD 50 million, which effectively transformed how they engaged with businesses on sustainability issues and recruited 5,000 companies in over 60 countries to work with Rainforest Alliance. She has been recognized by Ethisphere Institute as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics, and was the Citi Fellow in Leadership and Ethics at NYU Stern in 2015.

Dr. Ir. T. A. Fauzi Soelaiman is the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He has a distinguished career in academia as lecturer and researcher at the Bandung Institute of Technology. Dr. Fauzi is also a prolific scientist with dozens of publications and patents to his name, especially in the field of mechanical engineering. He is a member of the World Energy Council and the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society.

According to Tony Sumampau, Chair of the Belantara Foundation Advisory Board, “The latest addition to our Advisory Board definitely further adds value to our organization. We are certainly looking forward to working alongside Ms. Whelan and Dr. Fauzi to achieve the goals of the Belantara Foundation”.

You can download this press release in pdf here.

-Ends –

About the Belantara Foundation

The Belantara Foundation is dedicated to restoring and protecting rainforests in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Through its work, it aims to balance conserving landscapes, empowering communities and supporting sustainable economic growth. It manages funding and programmes that are designed to safeguard Indonesian natural forests and encourage restoration while also protecting endangered species.

The Foundation was launched at UNFCCC COP21 in Paris in December 2015.