Arina Larasati Susijo has a passion for science, and was drawn to the MPA-ESP program to take advantage of learning the science behind the environmental policy issues facing her native Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region.
“Biology and physics were my favorite science subjects throughout my school years from elementary to high school. Having a keen interest in the sciences, I also became a member of the Science Club in high school where we had lots of fun conducting experiments outdoors and learning about animal anatomy.”
Prior to starting the MPA ESP program, Arina studied at University Technology PETRONAS, taking courses in the sustainable management of the oil and gas industry, which sparked an interest in further study. She later secured an internship in the International Business Enhancement division in Maybank, where she analyzed environmental risks reported by the Bank’s branches in Southeast Asia.
Arina was awarded a full scholarship from the Government of Indonesia’s prestigious scholarship program for future leaders to attend the MPA ESP. She finds that the program offers “a whole package” for her professionally, including world-renowned lecturers, Earth Institute resources, dynamic classmates who share their expertise, and the chance to study in New York City.
Arina hopes to use the knowledge and the skills gained from the program to help her government tackle some of the environmental challenges facing her country. As the world’s largest producer of palm oil, Indonesia has been experiencing an outbreak of fires nearly every year for a decade as a result of deforestation, threatening both the environment and public health.
According to Arina, “Reducing forest fires, greenhouse gas emissions and water management are the most challenging issues faced by an emerging nation like Indonesia. Indonesia is also a country that is blessed with an abundance of natural resources that need to be protected and sustainably managed. Upon completion of the program, I aspire to work for the United Nations focusing on sustainable development for developing countries to address poverty issues and environmental challenges. In the long term, I aim to work for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesia.”