Ideating Planetary Health and Alternative Livelihoods

ASRI with the spirit of planetary health strives for people to live in harmony, side by side with sustainable forests. Therefore, ASRI through alternative livelihood programs wants communities around the forest to prosper in sustainable and nature-friendly ways.

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Organic Farming

The sustainable organic farming program emerged as an alternative to the slash-and-burn farming system that has negative impacts on the health of the risk of forest and land fires and a decrease in soil fertility due to burning which eliminates microorganisms in the soil which ultimately has an impact on reducing the productivity of agricultural products. Organic farming is a cheap and environmentally friendly agricultural system that can answer the constraints and limitations faced by farmers. It empowers farmers to work in line with natural processes to protect soil and water resources and minimize the impact of waste on the environment. ASRI provides organic farming training for farming communities around the National Park area including making organic fertilizer, organic land management, crop rotation, writing proposals to get grants and government assistance and encouraging farmers to be more independent, and since 2009 ASRI has fostered around 17 farmer groups and hundreds of farmers who have succeeded in increasing their income and welfare.

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Chainsaw Buyback

Deforestation around Kalimantan's forests occurs because of the community's dependence on the forest. This dependence is due to easy access to logging, high demand for timber, lack of resources for other livelihoods and low education and skills. Understanding these issues, ASRI believes that a repressive approach does not solve the problem and is not a sustainable solution. Therefore, ASRI in collaboration with the Gunung Palung National Park Center offers a solution that allows loggers to quit their jobs and switch to other livelihoods that match their interests and skills. To ensure that capital funds are not used for consumptive activities, ASRI does not provide cash funds, but rather purchases materials for business set-up together with partners. The program is also seen as a sustainable solution due to regular monitoring as well as assistance and support in developing new businesses. In addition to reducing deforestation in one of Indonesia's national parks, the program reduces the risk to the former loggers and their families in terms of health and safety. With the Chainsaw Buyback, which has been participated in by around 200 loggers, it is estimated that more than 47,426 large trees have been protected. The trees most commonly felled by loggers around the forest are mainly rare and high-value trees such as Bengkirai, Meranti, Nyatoh, Ulin, Ubah, Medang and Keladan. The loss of large trees can pose a major threat to the survival of endemic animals such as Orangutans and Ivory Hornbills. So with reduced logging activities, trees are expected to continue to stand providing life for animals and humans around them. This innovation complements the deforestation prevention efforts of ASRI and the Gunung Palung National Park Center, in addition to reforestation efforts from seedlings paid for by patients accessing health services at the ASRI Clinic.

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Goats for Widows

The Goats for Widows program, established in 2009, aims to provide assistance to widowed mothers who are among the most vulnerable members of society. The program provides widowed mothers with the opportunity to become more independent and have a livelihood that can support family life. Each widow receives one female goat to take care of, the widows also receive training on goat health checks, maintenance and cleanliness of goat pens, treatment of goat diseases, and utilization of goat manure as organic fertilizer used in agricultural activities.