Health In Harmony is dedicated to solving global heating, understanding that rainforests are essential for the survival of humanity. Using the innovative process of radical listening, we collaborate with rainforest communities in Borneo and Madagascar to create the change the planet needs. We recognize that local and indigenous communities are the experts and guardians of precious rainforests, and we work outside traditional disciplines to improve the health of rainforest communities in harmony with ecosystems and our planet.
Health In Harmony works with communities who live around protected rainforests in Borneo and Madagascar, providing healthcare, agriculture training, and economic empowerment. This combination allows the community to stop logging, which enables the forest to breathe and helps stabilize the climate.
Health In Harmony supports partner ASRI (Alam Sehat Lestari) to run a fully functional medical center that treats many thousands of patients each year. The communities’ key innovation is a “green credit” system – patients from villages that reduce illegal logging receive discounts up to 70% on healthcare services. Patients can also pay with seedlings, handicrafts, manure, and more, ensuring care is always accessible.
Health In Harmony and ASRI work hand-in- hand. Health In Harmony leads the strategic direction, global focus, and growth priorities, while ASRI operates the Community Medical and Training Center, as well as conservation and alternative livelihood programs in Indonesia.
Health In Harmony’s work includes monitoring and evaluation expertise, impact assessment and communication of ASRI’s successes and outcomes, managing an exchange program that brings medical professionals and students to ASRI, and developing partnerships and fundraising.
High Quality Affordable Healthcare
Part of the problem communities identified in initial Radical Listening meetings was not just access and affordability of health care, but also its quality. If you could be seen by a doctor, you might not receive the correct diagnosis or treatment. When we started the medical center, preventable and treatable diseases like malaria and tuberculosis were common and maternal and infant mortality rates were high. We addressed this by hiring smart, young, eager Indonesian doctors and creating a professional exchange program with Western medical professionals – the Indonesian doctors learn diagnostic and treatment skills, while the visitors learn about tropical and low-resource medicine.Today, infant and childhood mortality rates have improved, malaria and tuberculosis are effectively treated and disappearing, and disease indicators are declining.
Non-cash Payment Options
ASRI’s non-cash payment option improves access to healthcare for people with limited economic resources. Patients can pay for healthcare with goods such as woven mats and baskets, organic compost, seedlings, and labor in the organic garden. These payments then drive the success of other programs; for example, seedlings are planted to reforest sites in the national park, and compost is used by farmers. ASRI monitors deforestation indicators in the villages around the national park, and healthcare discounts are applied for people from villages with little to no logging. For example, people from logging-free villages receive a 70 percent discount.
ASRI’s Alternative Livelihoods Programs are a solution for creating productive, sustainable work opportunities for the communities living near Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP) and stem from the direct request of communities in Radical Listening meetings.
These programs are designed to reduce illegal logging activities in GPNP. They involve ex-loggers and their wives, farmers, housewives, and widows. The aims are to increase participants’ income, manage expenses, and improve household financial management so that people do not need to extract resources from the forest.
Understand relationships and interconnections between history, economics, policy, ecosystems, and health care in the Gunung Palung National Park region.
Planetary Health Principle: Systems Thinking and Interdisciplinary Collaborations
Transformative solutions to planetary health challenges are developed by collaborating across disciplines. ‘The different programs at ASRI reflect the need to consider both the natural and social systems that contribute to human health outcomes.
The broad scope of planetary health calls for all of us to work together. To create solutions, we need to communicate across boundaries and analyze challenges comprehensively. You will collaborate with colleagues from a variety of fields including medicine, ecology, and business.
Planetary Health Principle: Communication
Effective and meaningful translation of planetary health science across different disciplines, sectors, geographical regions, cultures, and scales. Through ASRI’s community education programs participants will learn how to effectively communicate planetary health science.
Planetary Health Principle: Inequality and Inequity
An individual’s vulnerability to the human health impacts of climate change is determined by factors such as socioeconomic status, politics, culture, and geography. Equality and equity are fundamental components of planetary health, and should be integrated in solutions.
The Alternative Livelihood programs and Goats for Widows Program address unequal access to resources address gender inequality by distributing resources in a gender-responsive way.
- Project based learning
- On-site clinic orientation and planetary health orientation by ASRI Planetary Health Educator
- Trips to villages, conservation programs, alternative livelihoods programs, and health care programs in West-Kalimantan, Borneo around the Gunung Palung National Park.
- How to save the Rainforest: Build a Health-Centre. Law, Y (2018), Mosaic
- A community based approach integrating conservation, livelihoods, and health care in Indonesian Borneo. Webb, K., Jennings, J. (2018), The Lancet
- Does tree planting change minds? Assessing the use of community participation in reforestation to address illegal logging in West Kalimantan. Pohnan, E., Ompusunggu, H., Webb, C. (2015), Mongabay
- Sustainable Livelihoods and Eco-system Health: Exploring Methodological Relations as a Source of Synergy. Connell, D.J. (2010), EcoHealth
- Video: Protecting Rainforests so the Earth can Breathe.
- Video: Saving Lives by Saving Trees. Kinari Webb, TEDx Talk at TEDx Rainier
- Video: How Saving Forests Can Save Lives. Kinari Webb, Mahardika Putra, AtAmerica, Indonesia
- A Health Map for the Local Human Habitat. Barton, H., and Grant M. (2000) The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. To be used as framework for the site visits.