Indah Bong, PhD student interview
Indah Bong, PhD student funded by SEARCA and Agropolis Fondation under the call for thesis grants. Supervision: Manuel Boissières (CIRAD, UR Forêts et Sociétés) and Dyah Rahmawati Hisbaron (Gadjah Mada University)
Can you present yourself in a few lines (educational and professional background)?
My name is Indah Waty Bong. I was a researcher at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) from 2013-2020. I have been involved in multiple research focusing on community participation in measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) of carbon and non-carbon data, assessment of forest and wild product contribution to livelihoods, social forestry and climate change in Southeast Asia. I graduated from University of Florida with a master’s in Sustainable Development Practice.
What position, funded by Agropolis Fondation, do you hold today (status, function, missions)?
I am doing a PhD on local natural resource management and autonomous conservation practices in Indonesia funded by Agropolis Fondation and SEARCA. It is a joint PhD between GAIA Doctoral School – University of Montpellier, France, and Geography Doctoral Program – Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia.
What do you want to learn in this position, especially in terms of skills and partnerships?
This joint PhD allows me to be part of a network of multiple institutions and scientists: Univ.of Montpellier and Gadjah Mada University that provide a platform for learning and carrying out my PhD research; CIRAD that hosts me, providing much supports during my time in Montpellier; and Agropolis Fondation and SEARCA with the financial support. It is a good and supporting learning environment, and I hope I can make the best use of the available resources.
Do you have any anecdote or story to tell that took place during your mission?
Not many because I just started; perhaps when I got lost and ended up in another village on my first day to CIRAD or that time when I found out that my first class at UM was 100% in French and I accidentally volunteered myself to do a presentation in the class (fortunately I could do it in English).
What do you want to do or plan to do after the end of your mission?
I always have a passion for learning, I can see myself in the future as a scientist working on issues related to conservation and development.