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Proud! Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) from Indonesia Wins the prestigious Ashden Award 2022 in the Natural Climate Solutions Category

London - Today (02/11/2022), Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) has been named the first winner in the prestigious Ashden Awards in the Natural Climate Solutions category for ASRI's work in helping local communities gain sustainable livelihoods while protecting forests.


The annual Ashden Awards showcase ground-breaking initiatives from climate pioneers who show what is possible to move to a more equitable, low-carbon future. To maximize impact, the climate solutions charity also builds relationships with funders, investors, policymakers and others, thereby providing a global platform to showcase the work of these climate pioneers.


ASRI was selected among more than 200 organizations that applied because of its unique Radical Listening approach in identifying solutions to deforestation, protecting and regenerating rainforests and biodiversity. By placing local communities at the forefront as key holders of solutions. This solution includes providing public health services, organic farming training, and education, to improve human welfare as well as a healthy and sustainable nature.


“The Ashden Awards are very competitive, and ASRI is the only organization receiving the award from Asia. "This award is a tribute to local communities where ASRI programs are solutions born from the community, and of course an appreciation for the government which is leading conservation efforts, as well as the donors and supporters who have supported this work," said Nur Febriani, Executive Director of ASRI . “Our hope is that this award raises global awareness of the ability of local communities to protect our world from the effects of global warming through effective forest management, and of the importance of a holistic approach to ensuring healthy forests and healthy communities.”


Founded in 2007, ASRI together with Health In Harmony partners and local communities moved to support the Indonesian government's efforts to maintain tropical rainforest ecosystems so that forests are healthy, communities are healthy. Through Radical Listening, ASRI identified lack of access to health services as one of the main causes of people cutting down trees and has worked to establish clinics where local medical professionals provide quality, affordable health services, which also include maternal and newborn care and dental and eye health services, in addition to primary health services. To ensure services are accessible, patients can pay by cash, non-cash and BPJS. Non-cash medical payments, for example, include tree seeds, handicrafts, organic fertilizer, or work. Patients also receive reduced costs for medical care if they or the community in their hamlet commit to protecting the forest. Apart from health services, ASRI provides organic farming training, alternative livelihood support through the Goats for Widows and Chainsaw Buyback / Chainsaw Exchange programs, as well as educational programs targeting teenagers and children living around the forest.


Harriet Lamb, CEO of UK-based Ashden, which organizes the annual awards, said: “Through these awards, we are proud to celebrate and promote innovative climate solutions that will enable a low carbon future.”


"Ahead of the crucial COP 27 climate talks in Egypt, world leaders must sit down, take notice and provide adequate funding to scale up or spread these extraordinary examples of creative climate solutions," said Harriet Lamb.


Since ASRI was founded, the concept of Radical Listening and this intersectional approach have been emulated in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya, in Indonesia, the Manombo Forest in Madagascar in Africa, and the Terra Do Meio region in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.


The Ashden Award in the Natural Climate Solutions category, now in its third year, seeks to discover and champion local community-led initiatives to reduce poverty through the sustainable use of natural resources and by supporting communities to become effective forest managers and protect biodiversity.


“The world is now recognizing that local people are the best stewards of the world's forests,” said Giles Bristow, Ashden Program Director. “Their local expertise and traditional practices provide solutions that produce results.”


Ashden, a British charity, has been highlighting transformative climate solutions for over 20 years through their prestigious awards program, particularly through energy-focused solutions.