Our Team


team_BenBenjamin Brown | Co-founder / Ecologist / Chief Technical Advisor
Ben has been living and working in Indonesia since 1995. After graduating with a B.Sc. from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources, yet before coming to Indonesia, Ben Brown worked in the fields of environmental education and habitat restoration, throughout the United States and Canada. Upon moving to Indonesia, Ben volunteered for three years; at an environmental education center in the mountains of East Java and at a community based coastal resource management NGO in North Sulawesi. In 2000, Ben founded a small grassroots NGO called Yayasan Akar Rumput Laut (YARL), based in Yogyakarta, Java. YARL implemented programs in Indonesia on behalf of Mangrove Action Project, an international NGO with its Asian base in Trang, Southern Thailand. Ben also worked during this time for Mangrove Action Project in a regional capacity, leading pieces of training and small projects in Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Timor Leste. YARL officially became MAP-Indonesia in 2007, at the time implementing programs in 7 provinces in Indonesia. Most recently, MAP-Indonesia was engaged in the 5 years Restoring Coastal Livelihood Project in South Sulawesi, which included 500 hectares of Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation, 2000 hectares of improved Coastal Management area and the implementation of 72 Coastal Field Schools leading to livelihoods development. MAP-Indonesia was also engaged in Papua with the USAID IFACS project, responsible for forming a multi-stakeholder mangrove management working group and developing an integrated management plan for the world-class 750,000 hectares Mimika mangroves and lowland swamp forest.

In 2013, Ben co-founded Blue Forests, which has undertaken projects in Aceh and Sulawesi. Ben is a co-author of several peer-reviewed papers, a peer-reviewed mangrove rehabilitation manual and recent UNEP guidelines for coastal carbon projects. Ben is currently a member of the IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group, and a Ph.D. Candidate at Charles Darwin University – Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods.


team_jajangJajang Agus Sonjaya | Founder/ Knowledge and Governance Technical Advisor
Jajang graduated from Gadjah Mada University’s Department of Archaeology in 1999. In 2005 he completed his Master in Humanities. Since 1999, he has worked as a lecturer at Gadjah Mada University. In addition, he is also a guest lecturer at the Department of Architecture UII. He has also studied at the Center for Asia Pacific Studies Gadjah Mada University as a researcher.

He has been involved in dozens of research, training, and community development projects and has worked at Mount Ciremai, Gunung Kidul, Dieng, Segara Anakan, Dayak Kalimantan, and Nias. He has published articles in national and local media, seven documentary films, and five books, namely: Pergulatan Dayak dan Indonesia (Galang, 2005), Melacak Batu Menguak Mitos (Kanisius, 2008), Zanj (Kepel, 2009), Manusia Langit (Kompas-Gramedia, 2010), and Manajemen Pelatihan (Kanisius, 2013). In his quest to bring science to the public, he developed a participatory action research (PAR) and with Benjamin Brown established two institutions: MAP-Indonesia (2004) and Blue Forests Foundation (2011).


team_YusranYusran Nurdin Massa | Environmental Technical Advisor
Originally from Palopo, South Sulawesi, Yusran graduated from the Marine and Fisheries Faculty in Hasanuddin University. While an undergraduate, he joined Marine Conservation Foundation as a volunteer and after graduation, in 2003, Yusran becomes the Manager of research and development division there. In 2007, Yusran became an Executive Director in Indonesia Marine Conversation Foundation. In this role, he was responsible for designing and formulating organizational policy and strategy as well as strategic plans to follow up mandates from constituents and/or stakeholders-based inputs. At this time, he also became a consultant for WWF.

In 2010, Yusran joined MAP Indonesia as a Senior Environmental Project Officer. He conducted a 400 ha mangrove rehabilitation in Tanakeke Island. He is also currently involved in an integrated management plan for a mangrove and swamp forest in Mimika. He was a project manager in Coastal Ecosystem Resilience, his program in Tanakeke will restore 100 ha of the damaged ecosystem and is supported by Goodplanet Foundation, France. Since 2015 he joined USAID Lestari program as Environmental Specialist. He was formerly Blue Forests Director from 2015-2018. He joined many assessment programs as Ecology Specialist.



Ratnawaty Fadilah | Socio-Economic Technical Advisor
Born and educated in South Sulawesi, Ratna completed her B.Sc at Sam Ratulangi University and worked as a reporter and technician in local radio stations while still an undergraduate. After graduation, she volunteered in local institutions engaged in coastal resource management and helped develop a community radio network for an NGO. In 2003, Ratna later became a staff at the Kelola Foundation, North Sulawesi and in 2005, she joined with MAP Indonesia, an NGO focused on the rehabilitation of mangroves and the development of local livelihoods. Given the responsibility to develop a variety of products based on the mangrove, Ratna used acanthus illicifolius as herbal tea, crisps from acrosticum, jam and syrup from sonneratia, some cookies from avicennia, flour from bruguiera.

In 2007, she joined Sahabat Bamboo, who develop environmentally friendly building materials from bamboo, becoming a facilitator in an Environment Services Program support by USAID in few villages in Magelang, Centre of Java. In 2009, with three friends she established the Titian Lestari, an organization focused on environmental education for mothers and their children. Most recently, Ratna was engaged in the five years Restoring Coastal Livelihood Project in South Sulawesi, overseeing the implementation of 72 Coastal Field Schools leading to livelihoods development. Since 2012, Ratna lectures at Makassar State University, teaching mainly about major agricultural technologies.


team_RioRio Ahmad | Director
Rio graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in biology from the Marine Biology Program at the University of Hasanuddin, Makassar, Indonesia. In 2012 to 2014, Rio worked with Mangrove Action Project as environment field staff and as EMR Officer for the Restoring Coastal Livelihoods program, which included 500 hectares of Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation, 2000 hectares of improved Coastal Management area and the implementation of 72 Coastal Field Schools leading to livelihoods development.

More recently, Rio worked for MAP-Indonesia in Papua with the USAID IFACS project. He conducted some meetings to encourage the initial development of the District Mangrove Work Community in Mimika. He also worked for Coastal Ecosystem Resilience Project in Tanakeke to restore 100 ha of the damaged ecosystem and is supported by Goodplanet Foundation, France. Since 2015, he worked for USAID Lestari program as Project Manager in Timika and Asmat. Now, he is Blue Forests Director from 2018-2023.


team_siskaFransiska | Finance Manager
Fransiska was born in Makassar and graduated from Polytechnic Hasanuddin University majoring in Business Administration in 2003. She has worked as an executive secretary, sales coordinator, and financial staffer, all of which have given her a sound background in good financial management.

In July 2010, she joined Perkumpulan MAP Indonesia administering the financing of the Restoring Coastal Livelihoods program for four years. This work included 500 hectares of Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation, 2000 hectares of improved Coastal Management area and the implementation of 72 Coastal Field Schools leading to livelihoods development. More recently, Siska completed work for MAP-Indonesia in Papua with the USAID IFACS project and also Coastal Ecosystem Resilience Project with GoodPlanet Foundation in Tanakeke Island, Takalar, South Sulawesi. Since MAP Indonesia became Blue Forests Foundation, Siska became as a finance manager to support USAID Lestari, Building with Nature (BwN), Blue Ventures and other short-term programs.


team_siskaWa Ode Asma Aziz | Finance Officer

Asma graduated from Marine Department in Hasanuddin University. In 2011, she joined MAP Indonesia as a Finance Assistance. Since 2015, she has been working for Blue Forests as a Finance Officer until now. She has a responsibility to do verification, financial transaction recording, and create a monthly report.





team_kikiRieski Kurniasari | Human Resources & General Affairs Manager

Rieski (Kiki) graduated from Communication Department - Hasanuddin University. Kiki joined on October 2015 as an HR & GA Officer who responsible for recruitment system, medical administration and leave, general HR administration, making work contracts, responsible for archive management, managing and coordinating HR activities with other managers, and ensure HR regulations and policies are properly applied. She also manages Blue Forests social media and information published through the Blue Forests website.






Andi Zaenab Astriani | Administration & Procurement Officer

Ena was born in Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi. She graduated from Agricultural Technology Hasanuddin University. Since 2015, she joined Blue Forests as a Finance and Administration Assistance who responsible for administrative arrangements and procurement of logistics as well as supporting finance officer duties in preparing payment process.







Akhzan Nur Iman |  Restoration and Conservation Manager

Akhzan born in Pangkajene, South Sulawesi. He graduated from Marine Department and also finished his master degree in Hasanuddin University. He joined Blue Forests since 2012 as a volunteer. In 2014, he worked as a Hydrology Consultant. In 2015-2016, he was a Project Officer for CER program in Tanakeke Island, South Sulawesi which was funded by Goodplanet Foundation.  In the same year, he was a Field Facilitator for ELTI program. He had responsible to organize field school, coordinating with local government. In 2017, he joined ROAM assessment to collect ecological and biophysical data in Luwu, Sumbawa, Riau, Maluku, Kendari, and Palembang. He joined other assessment conducted by ELTI in Balikpapan, Kalimantan.



team_wawanMayang Sari Takdir | Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) Officer

Mayang joined Blue Forests as a volunteer in 2012 for the RCL program. In the CER program. She had responsible for facilitating and organize Environmental Education lesson in a school at Balangdatu village, Tanakeke Island. Since 2015, she has been working as an Ecological Field Staff to support the site manager to build a strong relationship with all stakeholders. Mayang graduated from Marine Department - Hasanuddin University. 





team_wawanAndi Darmawansyah |  Biodiversity Officer

Wawan was born in Pinrang, South Sulawesi. He studied zoology and environmental science in the biology department, Hasanuddin University in 2008. He was a lab assistant in a marine biology laboratory and plant taxonomy in the faculty. He started to become a volunteer in 2012, which formerly was called the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), he was in charge of helping the ecological survey team on mangrove rehabilitation site in Kuri Caddi, Maros and Tanakeke Island. Also, in 2012 he joined as a volunteer for EMR in Tiwoho, North Sulawesi. He joined several assessments since 2013 as an Ecology Field Survey in Total Economic Valuation Survey in Panikiang Island - South Sulawesi, Pontianak, and Gorontalo.

In 2014 had served as a Consultant for the ecological rehabilitation project on the island of Tanakeke in terms of monitoring and participatory with a community survey. Early 2015, he designed an illustration book for environmental education as well as a facilitator in the same program in March-May 2015. He became a Mangrove Co-Management since 2015 until now for USAID Lestari program in Asmat. 


team_taufikAhmad Taufik | GIS & Forests Governance Officer

Taufik has graduated from Forestry - Hasanuddin University in 2015. Since then, he works for Blue Forests in USAID Lestari program as Ecology Field Staff who responsible for supporting site manager to build a strong coordination among all stakeholders. In 2017, he became Mangrove Co-Management Coordinator for USAID Lestari program. He had responsible to assist participatory mapping activities of Traditional Natural Resouces Utilization of Kamoro tribe, both carried out directly by USAID Lestari and stakeholders in Mimika. Facilitated the Protection Forest Management Unit (KPHL) Unit VI Mimika compiling a Long Term Forest Management Plan (RPHJP) document. Facilitated the village government and community in Nayaro, Mimika village to undertake forest protection efforts, one of which is by forming a Forest Protection Group consisted of village youth.  


team_irvanAndi Irvan Abubakar | Field School Officer

Irvan was born in South Sulawesi and graduated with a major in Accounting from STIE Mappaodang in 2005. Irvan has joined many social activities both in local communities, institutional and national empowerment. As a basis of accounting education, Irvan was able to accompany a group of economic assistance projects via the Mangrove Action Project’s Restoring Coastal Livelihoods program. Irvan also worked in Papua with the USAID IFACS project as a junior socio-economic officer.  In 2015, he was an Economic Development Officer for USAID Lestari program who responsible for developing in the coastal business school program and curriculum in collaboration with a social economic manager. Then, BwN program as a Senior Community Facilitator in 2015-2017 was tasked with assisting and facilitating CFS in Demak, Central Java as well as capacitating other facilitators on the principles and practices of CFS.


team_masnahMasnah Waris | Community Business Officer

Masnah joined since 2015 as an Economic Social Staff for USAID Lestari program in Timika. She had responsible to carry out activities related to social and ecnomic issues. In addition, she is alos responsible to facilitate field schools and community economic development, facilitated alternative livelihood and connecting local businesses to markets in Timika.





team_woroWoro Yuniati  | Knowledge and Development Manager

Woro graduated from Yogyakarta State University in 2004 with English Education specialization and finished her master of Development Practice from James Cook University, Australia in 2014. Woro joined since 2015 as a Socio-economic Field Researcher to conduct feasibility assessment in some severely degraded mangrove system in Indonesia, supported by World Resource Institute (WRI) and USAID-Lestari. These assessment activities held in Indragiri Hilir-Riau and Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan. In 2010-2012, she joined RCL (Restoring Coastal Livelihoods) project supported by CIDA and Oxfam GB as Knowledge Management Coordinator of MAP Indonesia.  She had the responsibility to capture and manage lesson learned from project's activities.  Together with Ratnawati Fadilah, they developed and facilitate environmental education programs for two local groups in Yogyakarta in 2008-2010. She worked as an Education and Awareness Coordinator for USAID-Lestari program from 2015-2017. Since 2015, she worked as a Coastal Field School Program Manager for BwN program funded by the Dutch government in Demak, Central Java. She supervised all contributing activities, coordinate with BwN partners and stakeholders, and develop monitoring and evalution tools.


team_registaRegista |  Research, Learning & Environmental Education Officer
Regista was born in Wawondula, South Sulawesi and graduated from the Departement of Biology at Hasanuddin University in 2008. After graduation, Regista joined MAP Indonesia as a volunteer. She progressed to become an Ecology Consultant, collecting data about vegetation plots, vegetation transects, as well as capturing photo stations and monitoring mangrove rehabilitation in Tanekeke Island and Kuri Caddi. In April 2013 – March 2014, she joined the ecology staff in MAP Indonesia.

After MAP Indonesia became Blue Forests Foundation, Regista joined as a Project Officer on Coastal Ecosystem Resilience program support by GoodPlanet from France. She was responsible for and involved in technical implementation, prepared administration and procurement equipment, coordinated and mediated consultants and volunteers in some activities. In September 2015-2017, as a Site Coordinator for the USAID Lestari program in Asmat. She had responsible to organize activities in Asmat. In 2018, as a Field Staff for Scoping Study program which is responsible to collect livelihood information in Sumbawa, Palembang, Riau, and Kendari. Now, she is a Mangrove Ecology Officer for BwN program who responsible for monitoring development of mangrove restoration activities in Demak, Central Java.


team_AdilaLaila Adila | Communication and Media Outreach
Laila was born in Pekalongan, Central Java and graduated from Educational Technology at the State University of Jakarta in 2013 and finished her master degree from Magister Management at Mercu Buana University Jakarta in 2015. She also took online course "Community and Stakeholder Engagment in The Conservation, Restoration, and Management of Tropical Forest Landscapes" developed by ELTI of Yale University. Laila joined Blue Forests as a volunteer for BwN program early 2016.

She was interested to work with Blue Forests and joined as an Economic Development Officer in April 2016. During her work, she contributed as a Field Surveyor for Mangrove Valuation - Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR) funded by USAID Global Support Task. These activities held in Bintuni Bay and Timika - Papua. In April 2016, she conducted a field survey for ROAM (Restoration Opportunity Assessment Methodology) funded by IUCN and BwN program. This assessment held in Gorontalo and Demak - Central Java. She was in charge to collect all primary data, involved in data analysis especially socio-economic data, coordinate and supervise local facilitator.  

July 2017-2018, she conducted an assessment for Scoping Study to advance community-based management of mangrove forest and fishery ecosystems in Indonesia supported by Blue Ventures. These assessments held in Luwu - South Sulawesi, Sembilang NP - Palembang, Aru Islands - Maluku,  Saleh Bay - Sumbawa, Cawan Island - Riau, Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP - Kendari, Batu Ampar - Kubu Raya, and Sinjai - South Sulawesi. She also works as a Reseach Project Coordinator for assessment activities at Sungai Hitam Samboja - Balikpapan. 

Her design ability used to help develop content for Blue Forests social media, also contribute as a Layout Designer for "Kurikulum Mangrove yang Menakjubkan" book.


team_opuWahyudin | Program Communication & Governance Officer

Opu was born in Pinrang, South Sulawesi. He graduated from Law Department - Hasanuddin University. He joined Blue Forests since 2015 as a Social Economic Field Staff for USAID Lestari program in Asmat - Papua. He had responsibility for carrying out activities related to social and economic activities according to the work plan, facilitating field schools and community economic development in Asmat. In 2017, he became a Mangrove Co-Management Coordinator who had responsibility for being representative of all activities in Asmat - Papua.




Program Staff:


Ainun Jariah Yusuf | Temporary HR & GA

Ainun was born in Bulukumba and joined Blue Forests in 2018 as an HR & GA. She has a responsibility to implement HR regulations and management. She also assigned to manage and coordinate HR with other managers and explaining the rules and policies correctly. She graduated from Communication Department - Hasanuddin University in 2016.






Weningtyas Kismorodati | Community Facilitator - Building with Nature program

Wening graduated from Archeology Department - Gadjah Mada University at Yogyakarta and a Sociology Master - Universitas Sebelas Maret at Solo. In 2013, she was the first Blue Forests Director before merging with MAP Indonesia. She handled CADRE (Climate Adaptation and Disaster Resilience) program in Nangroe Aceh Darussalam. This program has 3 objectives such as rehabilitation mangrove area, disaster risk reduction, and livelihood improvement. Also, Environmental Education to assess coastal communities against disasters, and alternative livelihoods for the economic independence of coastal communities. She had been a staff of social economy team for Delta Mahakam survey in 2015. Then in the same year, she became a Community Facilitator who was responsible for assisting and facilitating Coastal Field School implementation.



Karyoso | Coastal Field School Facilitator - Building with Nature program

Yoso graduated from The Learning Farm of Agriculture School in Bogor. He joined MAP Indonesia from 2011-2012 as a Bio-Intensive Farming in Makassar. Then, he joined Blue Forests from 2015 as a Community Facilitator. He had responsibility for assisting and facilitating Coastal Field School activities in Demak, Central Java.







Sendy de Soysa | Mangrove Co-Management Officer - USAID Lestari program

Sendy was born in Ambon. She graduated from Psychology Department - Mercu Buana Yogyakarta. Since February 2018, she joined Blue Forests in USAID Lestari program as a Mangrove Co-Management Officer who responsible for the formation of BUMDes in Asmat that characterized by conservation, ensuring social and economic elements of communities are taken into consideration for activities implementation in Asmat.






Andreas Metubun | Social Economic Field Staff - USAID Lestari program

Andi has joined Blue Forests in USAID Lestari program since 2015. He had responsibility for facilitating field schools and economic development for local communities, as a community organizer, coordination and technical supervision of adat institutions and stakeholders, as well as community facilitation in Sago management through field schools. He graduated from Jambatan Bulan Academy of Economics, Timika in 2014.






Chrismanto | Office Support

Manto was born in Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi. He joined Blue Forests as Office Support since 2016. During this time, he had responsibility for maintaining office operations and supporting Blue Forests staff operations.