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Alumni Spotlight: An Interview with Sutra Anjani

alumni spotlight capacity building Indonesia marine economics conservation
CSF alumni Sutra Anjani. Photo credit: Anonymous

One of CSF’s greatest assets is our incredible network of course alumni. We love hearing about how their training with CSF has had an impact on their work and professional development. CSF-Indonesia Program Manager Desta Pratama reached out to Sutra Anjani, currently studying environmental economics at the University of Queensland in Australia, to find out more about her experience with the course she took in 2016 and what she is up to now.

CSF: You attended our two-week Economic Tools for Marine Conservation course in Bali in 2016. What was the most memorable part of the course, or parts that you found most interesting?

Sutra: The most memorable part of the course was being exposed to applied economics for the first time in a very long time, and seeing the useful and powerful economic tools that can be used for environmental management and decision-making.

CSF: After the course, you decided to pursue a master’s degree in environmental economics at the University of Queensland in Australia. What made you decide on that course of study? Did attending the CSF course have anything to do with that decision? If yes, was there a particular part of the course that influenced your decision?

Sutra: I decided to pursue this degree because I realized there is a need for this expertise, especially in Indonesia. I also wanted to become a bridge between scientists and decision-makers. By studying environmental economics, I hope to learn to communicate science to governmental officials, businessmen, and economists, in a more relatable way. The part of the CSF course that had a big impact on my decision was the cost-benefit analysis module.

CSF: Does what you learned in the 2016 course help you in your current study?

Sutra: Definitely! I started my first economic courses with prior knowledge from the CSF course, so I had an advantage. I was also able to understand the topics I was learning in a more concrete way because I saw how economics can be applied to my field during the CSF course.

CSF: Could you tell us about your plans for your thesis research? What questions are you hoping to answer?

Sutra: My research focus is on The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Indonesia. My goal is to see how effective this mechanism is in offsetting global carbon emissions, and whether or not international collaborations on climate change mitigation between developed and developing countries really work.

CSF: Now that you have completed your first full year of studying economics, do you think economics can help improve things in Indonesia?

Sutra: Yes, I believe economics can help build a bridge between conservationists and private-for-profit enterprises, and demonstrate the economic benefits of conservation and sustainable development. Understanding that a lot of environmental issues are in fact economic issues, and being open to using market-based instruments as part of the conservation strategy can help improve policy making in Indonesia. Framing conservation efforts as part of a larger effort to maximize welfare is a compelling argument that will translate much better to groups outside the scientists and environmentalists.

CSF: What are your plans after getting your degree? Is there a particular subject of interest that you want to work on?

Sutra: I want to work in a hybrid field where I apply economic solutions to environmental problems. My current subject of interest is Indonesian climate change mitigation and policy.

CSF: How do you think economics can improve climate mitigation efforts in Indonesia?

Sutra: Studies have shown that market-based instruments are still the best methods for controlling global emissions, and are the most flexible solutions because they can be adjusted to the unique economic conditions of each country. By learning economics, I hope to incorporate market-based solutions into Indonesian climate policies and mitigation strategies.

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Many thanks to Sutra for this interview! Would you like to be featured in an upcoming Alumni Spotlight? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Niki Gribi at niki@coservation-strategy.org to get started.

Projects or courses this news item is about: 
Economic Tools for Marine Conservation - Indonesia 2016