Alam Sehat Lestari : an innovative non-profit organization that dovetails environmental & human health in rural Indonesia

  • Formed in 2010, Forest Guardian is an ASRI program to conserve Gunung Palung National Park which involves the locals. ASRI recruits a representative from every village community around the park to assist the conservation programs. Representatives of Forest Guardian participate and monitor every reforestation efforts of their own community. They also have to keep an […]

    Forest Guardian Field Trip
  • We partner with local communities to train farmers in organic farming techniques to reduce the use of slash and burn agriculture.

    Photo by Nikki See of Undertold Stories
  • We work to sever the links between poverty, ill-health and ecological damage by letting poor communities “pay” for healthcare by becoming guardians of the forests where gibbons and orangutans live.

    Medical exam in progress | Photo by ASRI staff
  • The reforestation program educates local communities about the value of the rain forest and provides them opportunities to participate in restoring damaged areas.

    Photo by Kari Malen
  • ASRI has provided 67 goats to 35 widows and their families to help improve the livelihoods of the area’s most disadvantaged households.

    A widower'a kids befriend their new goat | Photo by ASRI staff
  • ASRI places an enormous emphasis on partnering with villagers in local communities. It’s a two-way exchange of information.

    Photo by Kari Malen

Saving the Rain Forest with a Stethoscope

Human health and environmental health are tightly linked. The key to global health is protecting the connection between human health and environmental health – at the local level.

Alam Sehat Lestari program is localized only in West Borneo, Indonesia. ASRI works to protect Gunung Palung National Park and the communities that amount is about 60,000 people on its border. Gunung Palung is a stunning biodiversity treasure of 90,000 hectares with two small mountains swathed in tall dipterocarp forest in the lowlands and montane cloud forest on the peaks. This is a place called home to approximately 2,500 wild orangutans, or about 10% of the world’s surviving population.

Here’s the problem. Local people are poor, with an average income of $13 a month. Government health care is hard to be reached, medical emergencies put local people into debt, and illegal logging is one of the way to earn cash. Logging is a dangerous work, and it destroys the local watershed. It causes flood, devastation to agricultural areas, and waterborne illnesses to people and animals.

ASRI is trying to stop this cycle by turning local loggers into forest guardians.