On October, 17 Mr. Saliadi, Mr. Heryanto, and Mr. Hadenan from the Simpang Tiga village handed over their chainsaw to the ASRI Clinic, as a part of their commitment to no longer cut down trees in and around Gunung Palung National Park.
Both Mr. Saliadi and Mr. Heiyanto have been financially dependent on illegal logging since the 2000s. Mr. Hadenan, only began cutting down trees in the park in the last two years. Last Thursday, all three men had the opportunity to lay down their chainsaws and transition to sustainable livelihoods through ASRI’s Chainsaw Buyback program. With the commitment of three more loggers, the ASRI clinic has now put 139 chainsaws out of commission!
Pak Saliadi (pictured in the black shirt), shared with ASRI that he had been illegally logging in order to pay for his young son’s healthcare. Following a medical emergency, Pak Saliadi took his son to seek treatment at the Ketapang Hospital. His condition then required almost four more months of care. The burden of the medical bills and at home healthcare left Pak Saliadi with no option but to log in the Borneo rainforest.
Pak Saliadi’s story is far from unique. It’s exactly this type of situation that brought Health In Harmony to Borneo. Thanks to the Chainsaw Buyback Program, and other programs like it, the communities living Gunung Palung National Park have seen a 90% decrease in logging households. Gunung Palung is home to a multitude of endangered species, and acts as a carbon sink. Rather than depending on resource extraction as a means to protect the health of the community, the ASRI clinics has helped loggers transition to sustainable livelihoods, that drastically redefine what it means for the environment to be a resource to the community.