Category Archives: Meet an Ecowarrior

Liza Heavener

Liza Heavener is a government relations specialist living in Washington, D.C. She has over 8 years of experience working with Congress on a variety of issues from healthcare to aviation. Earlier in her career she had the opportunity to work in the United States Senate and managed a political campaign in New York. She works to be a bridge builder for issues facing the planet with people who can affect lasting change. She believes politics can be a powerful vehicle for social justice and solutions.

A lifelong animal lover, she jumped at the opportunity to work on the orangutan rehabilitation team in Borneo and tackle the impacts of deforestation. Though now you can find her back on Capitol Hill, she’s sharing the story of Borneo’s deforestation to everyone who will listen!

Read Liza’s blog.

Mark Kuroski

Mark Kuroski is proud to be from Wisconsin in the USA. He graduated from Viterbo University in 2007 with a degree in Music Theatre and a minor in Digital Media. He has performed in theatres throughout the United States including Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, and Georgia.

Shortly after moving to New York City to pursue his career in acting, Mark was hired by a children’s theatre company that brought him to South Korea where he has been able to combine his love of digital media with his passion for performing. For a year and a half, he created intriguing, animated PowerPoint presentations and entertaining videos that were used to enrich the original children’s musicals performed at the Gyeonggi English Village. He has also played a multitude of characters in those musicals.

Mark’s work has been seen by thousands of Korean school children and used to aid them in learning English as a second language. Currently Mark is back in his home town of La Crosse, Wisconsin working at a residential treatment facility helping adolescents overcome traumas and abuse experienced as children. In his free time Mark continues writing music and performing with local theatre companies.

Visit Mark’s TIG profile.

Paul Daley

Paul originates from the foothills of the beautiful Border Ranges National Park in Northern NSW, Australia. He grew up on a rainforest and fruit tree nursery specializing in growing a unique range of plant species for both reforestation and backyard food forests.

Paul’s horticultural roots and love for the forests naturally led him into a line of work that integrates Forest Restoration with Permaculture Design.His passion for restoring eco-system function and creating abundant edible landscapes has opened doors into a range of interesting projects in Australia and Indonesia.

Paul’s journey into the heart of Borneo living with the indigenous Dayak people has given him a whole new perspective on conservation-based community development and a deepened respect for the role of resilient local communities in biodiversity conservation.

Currently based inside Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra, Paul works as a Forest Restoration Officer with the Orangutan Information Centre on a 12 month AYAD assignment (Australian Youth Ambassador for Development).

Visit Paul’s blog

Willie Smits

Dr. Willie Smits is a rainforest inventor who has revolutionized reforestation techniques and policies worldwide and is also the world’s most prominent protector of orangutans and their natural habitat. As founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and the Masarang Foundation, he has consistently worked to address the root causes of deforestation by addressing the relationship between the animal world, our planet, and humankind.

Kodi Twiner

Kodi Twiner is a 24 year old force to be reckoned with.

Between working for various NGOs such as Greenpeace, Rainforest Information Centre and Positive Change for Marine Life, Kodi is studying for a Bachelor of Contemporary Music in Lismore, NSW.
Kodi is outrageously passionate about the environment and protecting the wild places of the world.  

“From the moment I discovered this project, I knew I was meant to go. I was focussed on nothing else from that moment. Borneo was this raw, challenging, transformative experience that tore down so many perceptions I had about the world.” Despite growing up in a highly industrialised town in Queensland, Kodi believes in people power and the monumental structural change that can occur once an idea infects the collective human consciousness. 

“All throughout history, humans have created change that was once thought impossible. I’ve had enough of the doomsday approach. Never before have we been in an age of such opportunity, with access to endless information at our fingertips. People are mobilising and organising. The revolution is all around you. Your choices matter, you matter. Get involved and go where the fight takes you!”

Shadrack Kalasa

Shadrack Kalasa is a young Kenyan Youth Activist who lives in Mombasa City. He is fun loving, hardworking and Volunteers at the National Youth Parliament of Kenya informing young people on Millennium Development Goals. Currently a member of the national executive of the Kenyan Youth Parliament, Shadrack is currently a project assistant with the Kenyan Red Cross. He has studied at the Post-Graduate level Corporate Leadership and Governance. Shadrack was awarded ‘the bronze navigator award’ by the President Awards Kenya for Leadership and Organizational skills and his greatest achievement was representing Kenya in the 5th World Youth Congress in Turkey (2010) and contributed to the ‘Istanbul Action Plan’, which highlighted issues that young people face all over the world.

Visit Shadrack’s TIG profile.

Tom Smith

Tom Smith was raised out in the sticks in the UK, in the only village in Europe that doesn’t have a pub. For a youngster, this isn’t too much of a worry though, and he spent most of his childhood swimming in brooks, collecting fossils, and looking after his pet donkey that he rescued from the circus. He’s always had an affinity for the environment, sustainability and behaviour, and has just finished studying Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol, which he balanced alongside his passion for activism, photography, wheeling and dealing old bicycles, and staring up at the incredible universe.

Tom has been a keen eco-activist, attending Copenhagen climate summit, organising an event which taught hundreds of young people the skills to tackle climate change, and setting up a photography exhibition in London on sustainability and the urban environment. He also helped to build the foundations of an eco-tourism site in Java, Indonesia.

Visit Tom’s blog and TIG profile.

Perry Schumacher

Perry Schumacher is a Veterinary Technician from Kitchener, Ontario in Canada. Growing up surrounded by provincial parks and spending most of his time amongst the vast forests and nature that Canada has to offer, Perry had developed an immeasurable passion for the natural world from a young age.

With an affinity for animals, different cultures, and the thrill of being pushed to his limits, Perry has been an avid traveller, consistently looking for ways to positively impact the planet and learn the different perspectives and lifestyles of the many different cultures of the world.

With his strong will and compassion, a life working towards the betterment of wildlife and the environment has always been a life path for him.

Visit Perry’s TIG profile.

Chai Chin Neo

Neo Chai Chin is a journalist from Singapore. She became more aware of environmental issues in the past decade and is astounded by the amount of damage that has been inflicted on our planet, as well as the fact that a change to our habits and lifestyles can still make a difference to our amazing and resilient ecosystems.

The 100 days in Borneo have opened her eyes to the fragility of the communities and forests a two-hour plane ride away from Singapore – especially the impact of palm oil plantations on indigenous peoples and wildlife. These are not issues confined to Borneo; they ought to be on everyone’s radar, as the footprint of palm oil companies and their products extend far and wide.

Chai Chin volunteers with environmental groups in Singapore on an ad hoc basis and will tell anyone who will listen about Borneo and the need to use less and care more.

Visit Chai Chin’s TIG profile.

Fahrani Empel

Fahrani is an Actor, Model and Entrepreneur living comfortably in Berlin. Born in Jakarta, Fa’ left home at an early age to pursue her passion to be an international model. She moved to Hong Kong when she was 16, then Tokyo, where it did not take long for her to make a serious impact in Asia. She has also been a model in Berlin, Paris, Milan, Sydney And New York.

Her unique and original style has helped her become more than just a model and her driven personality allowed her to diversify into acting. Starring In many feature films in Indonesia, she won best actress in 2008 in her role in Radit & Jani. She is currently launching her new eyewear line, Pawaka. In the short amount of time it has been available, Pawaka is already available in many countries.

Fa’ is proud of her many achievements and believes strongly if she has a team to work with then they are destined for success.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram