Cocoa Revolution Response's to adapt the Climate Change in Sulawesi

Photo 1. Gusti Ayu Fransiska Sri Rahajeng Kusuma Dewi

To influence others and our surrounding is a noble thing. This is one of Gusti Ayu Fransiska Sri Rahajeng Kusuma Dewi's dream, the PRESTASI (HICD) scholarship grantee from Bali. Siska, her nickname, focus on Environmental and Community Land Planning study as her major at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the United States.

The opportunity to continue her study in the United States provided by PRESTASI (HICD) becomes an advantage for Siska as it opens many opportunities for her to work as Field Coordinator at the Rainforest Alliance. She had the opportunity to work at the Rainforest Alliance shortly after she completed her study at SUNY, USA.

Siska also admitted, she gained a lot of knowledge from her study in the USA and it plays an important role in her current work. Siska learned about the International Environmental Policy when she studied abroad. It is one of the subject that she applied in her work, such as the "Climate Smart Cocoa Farms" The Cocoa Revolution Project in North Luwu, South Sulawesi and North Kolaka, Northeast Sulawesi.

Photo 2. Siska is interacting with a cocoa farmer.

The'Cocoa Revolution - Climate Smart Cocoa Farms' Project aims to provide the cocoa plantations that are able to respond to the climate change. It keeps a good standard to deliver a valuable product to cocoa production increase in order to raise the farmer's income in the future and eventually reduce the poverty.

In the field project, Siska interacts directly with the trainers, the extension workers and the cocoa farmers groups. Using her knowledge during her study in the USA, Siska is able to transfer her knowledge with the cocoa farmers to find the good practice and recommendations using the climate change adaptation approach to reduce green house emissions effect in their yield.

"When I was studying, I met colleague and friends who came from different countries with different cultures. I learned how to make decisions in a team and how to communicate it in a simple language due to the fact that the farmers came from different backgrounds," said Siska.

Siska's knowledge in environmental science also plays an important role to benefit the farmers in the 'Cocoa Revolution Project to achieve the sustainable impact. When dealing with colleagues from various countries in the project, Siska had to gather all information's to provide all necessary inputs to create the right and reasonable decision as the best practice on the field. As the Field Coordinator, Siska is responsible in providing climate change and climate smart agriculture training for the trainers/ the extension workers (exporter) and the cocoa farmers. As a special approach from her supervisor, Siska is required to transfer her knowledge to farmer group in North Luwu (South Sulawesi) and North Kolaka (South East Sulawesi) based on UK Climate Change standard of delivery.

" The point is the understanding of local culture and international development context during my study in the US is very useful to have as a lesson learnt on how to apply the right concept and to avoid new conflict or creating problems," added Siska.

Siska expresses her gratitude for the opportunity that received from PRESTASI (HICD) scholarship opportunity. Through this program, Siska can make her dreams come true without having no worries about her financial problems. Siska was also given an opportunity to learn as much as possible and create new experiences during her study in the United States.

To the Indonesian younger generation Siska advise, "Keep dreaming and keep your spirits up to achieve your dreams. Do not forget, we do not live alone. A lot of people need us and all that we do will certainly affect other living beings around us, including, environment, nature, animals, and others"