Suraya Abdulwahab Afiff
Environmental Politics Specialist
Suraya Afiff is currently a director of KARSA Institute, an independent, non-profit organization that aims to enhance collaboration between scholars and activists through research and training on agrarian and village reform.
KARSA’s primary activity is to facilitate learning circles amongst community leaders, NGO activists, progressive individuals within the government, and academics. These circles promote shared learning, as well as enhance knowledge and capacity of participants to advocate and carry out action to implement reform initiatives. Her involvement with the movement began in 1988, when she was a biodiversity program manager for WALHI (Indonesian Forum for the Environment/Friends of the Earth Indonesia), which is an umbrella organization comprising of more than 300 groups throughout Indonesia. In 2004, upon returned to Indonesia after completing her PhD in environmental politics from the University of California at Berkeley, she joint KARSA while still continuing to assist WALHI, Kehati, Kemala Foundation, and other groups.
Since 2005 she also teaches courses on political ecology at the Anthropology Graduate Program of University of Indonesia. Her own research focuses on land conflicts and community struggles to gain rights to use and manage land and forest in North Sumatra.