In this remote area of Borneo, deforestation imperils orangutans and local people alike in a linked cycle of poverty and poor health. Health problems are serious; high quality, low cost medical care is not available locally, and illegal logging represents one of the few means of cash income, necessary to cover medical costs. Poor health drives local people into debt, desperation drives illegal logging, and the destruction of the forest plunges villagers into greater poverty and poor health.
We provide high quality, low cost healthcare and conservation education to a community of more than 60,000. In exchange, the community agrees to stop illegal logging and protect the global treasure of Gunung Palung, home of many endangered rainforest species. In addition, ASRI Conservation programs provide community-requested trainings in animal husbandry and organic farming to increase alternative sources of income from environmentally enriching sources.
Through affordable healthcare, conservation education and alternative livelihoods, we will reduce the human mortality rates in local villages and medical payment related poverty in the region will decline. Conservation and reforestation will increase. The Health In Harmony model can be replicated all over the world - wherever natural resources are threatened by communities' self-preservation needs. By partnering with forest communities, we can bring endangered habitats back to health.
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