February 9, 2024

Elevating Women in Conservation

Denver Zoo is honored to announce the recipients of the 2023 Women in Conservation Fund.


In celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Denver Zoo is honored to announce the 2023 recipients of the Denver Zoo Women in Conservation Fund. This fund provides support to women working in the field of conservation and who are creating solutions that benefit both wildlife and communities. Each received $5,000 that they can apply to supporting their work including: professional support, network building, learning exchanges, visibility and community building. We are humbled to not only be able to support the work of these six extraordinary women, but to be able to learn from their expertise and knowledge. We also recognize that together, their collective impact on biodiversity benefits all of us.

Read on to learn more about these women and be sure to stay tuned as we share their stories over the course of the year.  


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Chantira Saifimar (Indonesia)

With a background in Environmental Geography, and a team member at the Batum Serendit Philosophy Center, Chantira’s work focuses on protecting sea turtle habitat. With increase pressures facing these turtles and their habitat, Chantira’s increasing her efforts to focus on stronger relationships and partnerships with local communities to collectively seek sustainable solutions to protecting these species through education and workshops.

Nesha Inchida (Indonesia)

Nesha Ichida is a marine conservation scientist working as a program manager for an Indonesian NGO called Thrive Conservation. Ichida has been primarily focused on shark and ray research and conservation, marine protected area management, and community-based conservation initiatives in eastern Indonesia. She is also Co-founder and advisor to a youth-driven NGO focusing on marine debris issues called Divers Clean Action  

Nesha Ichinda
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Alia Firdamayanti (Indonesia)

Alia is a forestry engineer with a primary focus on preserving the key tree species in the lowland tropical forests. She is also focused on protecting the Dugong dugon, a marine mammal in the same family as manatees. Alia’s goal is to fill research gaps related to the Dugong dugon and its mangrove habitat in order to develop long term strategies for its survival. 

Fanny Cornejo (Peru)

Fanny is a Peruvian biologist and anthropologist working to save and protect Peru’s Yellow Tailed Monkey. She is Director of Yunkawasi, an organization focused on sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. Fanny was also a recipient of the Emerging Conservation Award from the Indianapolis Prize.    

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Alifi Nisya (Indonesia)

Alifi is a Project Leader for Forum Konservasi Leuser, an Indonesia based NGO that focuses on the conservation of the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh ProvinceThrough this work, Alifi has also channeled her passion and efforts towards the Asian Elephant and seeking innovative solutions to mitigating human elephant conflict in East Leuser by creating early warning system through the use of bioacoustics. 

Rahayu Oktaviani (Indonesia)

Rahayu is a conservationist that has been focusing her work on researching the behavior and ecology of the wild Javan gibbons in the Citalahab Forest, Gunung Halimun Salak National Park, West Java, Indonesia. To make the research accessible beyond the circles of scientists, she started translating her work into language that is easily understood by the general public through conservation education initiatives These efforts led her to start her own local conservation NGO called KIARA, which is committed to integrating human dimensions into conservation efforts through a holistic approach of scientific research, education, and community engagement. 

Women in Conservation Fund Recipient–Rahayu Oktaviani

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