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Forest Warriors of Borneo are CfN’s Newest Partners

Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), a multi-awarded NGO has been taking great strides in forest restoration in Borneo. With CfN's support, their programs are expanding and being strengthened to reach more people.
February 12, 2024

The extensive damage to Indonesia’s rainforests is now seriously affecting the global climate. The island of Borneo is considered by many to be the “lungs of Southeast Asia”  with its rainforest and peatland ecosystems storing immense amounts of carbon. These ecosystems are also home to some of the world’s most endangered species like the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) and Bornean Orangutan(Pongo pygmaeus). Indonesia’s portion of the island of Borneo is called Kalimantan.  Sadly, Kalimantan has already lost up to 50% of its forest to palm oil and other industries. 42% of those emissions are caused by deforestation and forest fires making Indonesia part of the top 10 global Greenhouse Gas emitters in the world according to data from Climate Watch.

Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), a multi-awarded non-profit organization dedicated to the health of our planet, has been working hard to halt and reverse the extreme forest degradation in Kalimantan. They have been working together with local communities and the government to restore the forests of Western Kalimantan’s Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP), a critical conservation area. The success of their reforestation program yielded very promising results. According to a 10-year study by Stanford University scientists that culminated in 2020, the impact of ASRI’s community-led solutions showed a dramatic drop in logging households, stabilization of primary forest loss and 21,000 hectares of secondary forest regrowth. This was very good news to 2,500 Bornean orangutans. Additionally, infant mortality rates decreased by 67% and overall health conditions improved drastically.  ASRI’s hard work in West Kalimantan has earned them the Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions in 2022.

Due to the success already achieved, ASRI intends to expand their program to the eastern part of the protected area. This is where Communities for Nature comes in. ASRI’s aim is to increase access to healthcare, regenerative livelihoods and planetary health education. They attribute the positive impact of their current programs to two principles: Planetary Health and Radical Listening, both unique and compassionate approaches to halting the degradation of their forests. CfN is aligned with these principles and is excited to work with ASRI in the next coming months.

ASRI and CfN’s partnership will focus on the  following three flagship programs:

  1. Health care expansion through bringing mobile clinics to more villages inside and around the GPNP, accepting seedlings as non-cash payments for health services.
  2. Support for former loggers through expanding sustainable livelihood and sustainable farming practices. Support for the Chainsaw Buyback Program which will provide capital for the former loggers’ small businesses.
  3. Youth camps and social media action that is aimed towards a  40% increased interest in Planetary Health.

CfN happily welcomes ASRI as our newest partner in conservation! We are so grateful for this collaboration and look forward to supporting their exciting programs in these coming months. 

If you or your company are interested in getting involved, please write to us at info@communitiesfornature.org. 

[Photo from Alam Sehat Lestari’s YouTube Channel]


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