It’s far too rare in the world of environmentalism to see programs that seek to solve humanitarian issues, to create positive conservation outcomes. But, after seeing the implications of illegal logging on the communities and ecosystems in which they grew up, the Founders of Yayasan ASRI went about stopping it a little differently by asking ‘why?’
This approach, later dubbed ‘radical listening’ by the organization, led to a very simple answer to their question - local communities couldn’t afford healthcare that they needed for themselves and their families. Or, the chemical fertilizers they were being sold had become so expensive and unsustainable that they could no longer afford to pay for them, so could no longer grow crops to feed or support their families. In both incidences, people were turning to illegal logging to pay their bills. They weren’t logging because they wanted to, it was because they had no other choice.
By removing boundaries to affordable, high quality healthcare, providing education on organic farming techniques and offering business and grants and financial advice, this organization has changed the lives of many people throughout Indonesia by providing previously unavailable options, and has created a model that is now being used in other places around the world.
In this episode, Hannah Mulvany speaks to Mahardika Putra Purba about this incredible conservation and humanitarian organization in Borneo - the place that sparked her journey to become an environmental scientist.
Learn more about Yayasan ASRI on the latest Earth to Humans episode, or visit their website: https://www.alamsehatlestari.org/
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