Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is very proud to hear that George Santosa Tahija received the 2023 Oak Leaf Award, the highest award from the global organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The first Oak Leaf awards were given in the mid-1960s, making TNC's longest-running awards program.
In 2023, the award will be given to several volunteer leaders representing work spanning land and water conservation, women’s health, leadership, livelihoods, and education in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, and Gabon, and to those who established the presence of conservation programs from the ground up in India, Indonesia and China as well as communications initiatives and the oral histories of conservationists from Maine to Texas.
As a founding member of the Tahija Foundation, Mr. George, affectionately called, has long been involved in philanthropy, including nature conservation in Indonesia. Pak George has been a volunteer leader since TNC started its conservation program in Indonesia in 1991. At the Asia Pacific level, Pak George has been a member of TNC's Asia Pacific Council since 2010.
In 2014, he became one of the founders of YKAN, TNC's main partner in Indonesia. After the founding of YKAN, he served as Chairman of the YKAN Board of Trustees. Presently, Mr. George is still actively supporting YKAN as a member of the Advisory Committee.
His thoughts, ideas, and financial contributions have significantly strengthened nature conservation programs and improved community welfare. One of the supports provided through the Tahija Foundation is to support a sustainable seaweed program in East Nusa Tenggara.
Through his contribution, this program was able to pioneer sustainable seaweed cultivation in 2 villages and further promote the best seaweed management practices in 10 other villages. This program also encourages YKAN's collaboration with local governments to support sustainable seaweed cultivation, including protecting marine ecosystems and improving the welfare of communities in the coastal areas of East Nusa Tenggara.
This award emphasized Mr. George as an inspirational leader in nature conservation efforts in Indonesia #forIndoensiaLestari. Mr. George's commitment to supporting nature conservation efforts can inspire more parties to work together to build a better life for humans and the planet.