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Our work in Borneo has protected thousands of acres of critical habitat, kept tons of carbon in the ground, and saved lives. With 11 years left to halve human carbon emissions, rain forests play a critical role in the planet’s future. Health In Harmony has a model of protecting these crucial ecosystems and carbon sinks in a way that improves the lives of previously marginalized communities. We believe we have an imperative to replicate this success in more tropical rain forests and ultimately scale it around the world.

In September 2018, we initiated work at Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBR), a 181,090 hectare protected area in West and Central Kalimantan that is an important orangutan translocation site. As in Gunung Palung National Park, vulnerable communities that live close to the rain forest participate in logging and hunting to pay for their basic needs, particularly healthcare, because they have limited alternatives to generate income.

We began work at BBBR with the provision of healthcare through monthly mobile clinics and the placement of two midwives in the local villages.We are now working to emphasize community health and focusing on conservation interventions, including alternative livelihood training, peer-to-peer training support, establishment of alternative payment methods for healthcare (including handicraft, seedlings, and manure), and development of seedling nurseries.

The expansion to BBBR is part of an effort to replicate and test our Planetary Health model. We hope to impact millions of people as we scale this approach, which conserves highly biodiverse rain forests that sink global carbon emissions from around the world and provide necessary habitat for endangered specie like the orangutan.

Health In Harmony is starting new sites to protect more tropical rain forests, considered the lungs of our planet, improve health and economy for traditionally marginalized communities, and also to understand the key elements of this success so it can quickly be scaled around the world. We are currently exploring opportunities to apply our model to improve the health of people and forests in the Brazilian Amazon and Manombo Special Reserve in Madagascar.

Learn more about Health In Harmony’s replication model and learn more about setting up a health care and conservation program. We draw from our experiences at our first and second site at Gunung Palung National Park and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya (BBBR)  in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Further insights come from sites that were visited before the start of ASRI, candidate sites that have been evaluated for potential replication, sites that are selected for replication, and the experiences of other organizations on similar journeys.

We cover the following topics:

  • Criteria for selecting a site and the process of selecting a site
  • Context of our current sites
  • The importance of setting up a Baseline Survey
  • Root Causes Analysis
  • Radical Listening
  • How to set up healthcare and conservation programs
  • The importance of organizational culture and team building
  • The importance of building government relationships
  • How to monitor and learn from mistakes
Planetary Health Principle: Urgency and Scale

The field of planetary health is driven by the scale of environmental change, its effects on human health, and the urgency with which the global population must respond. Participants will learn more about Health In Harmony’s approach to replication and the complexity of interactions between the geographical scale, temporal scale, socioeconomic factors, and political and cultural context that shape specific challenges to and potential solutions for sustainable human health outcomes.