In 1993, Reed College undergraduate biology major, Kinari Webb, traveled to West Kalimantan, Indonesia to pursue her dream of studying orangutans. There, she experienced the splendor of the rain forest and felt the precariousness of villagers’ lives without access to adequate health care. The seeds of the connection between human and ecosystem health were planted. To protect the orangutans, she would need to listen to and work with the people who steward their habitat.
In Indonesia, Kinari also met Cam Webb, who today is a preeminent rain forest ecology researcher. Kinari went on to gain a medical degree with honors from Yale and to do a Family Medicine residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. During the years of Kinari’s training, she and Cam felt increasingly drawn to move to Indonesia full-time, to find a way to use her medical skills and his knowledge of the forest to conserve habitat and wildlife.
In 2005, Kinari founded Health In Harmony, and in 2007 she and Cam returned to West Kalimantan. After traveling around the region to find a place with 1) a significant human health need, 2) viable forest still able to be protected, and 3) an engaged local government, they settled in Sukadana, where Kinari, Dr. Hotlin Ompusunggu, and Toni Gorog established Health In Harmony’s pilot program, Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), with ongoing conservation guidance and leadership from Dr. Cam Webb. After more than 400 hours of radical listening to the communities around GPNP in Borneo, ASRI established community-guided medical and conservation programs that work in harmony to create a healthier planet for people, animals, and the environment.
Today, Health In Harmony continues to support the program work, data collection, and research of its pilot program, ASRI. Our goal now is to establish new partners around the world and protect additional high-value ecosystems, while gathering further evidence about the effectiveness of our unique model. We are currently scouting new sites and building the partnerships necessary to open new programs that address the needs of both the planet and human well-being. Health In Harmony is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and currently employs ten staff members.
In 2008, Health In Harmony received the Mongabay “Innovation in Conservation Award” and in 2014 and 2017 was nominated for the Classy Awards. In 2014, Dr. Kinari Webb was awarded the Ashoka Social Entrepreneur Fellowship and was selected as Rainer Arnhold Fellow through the Mulago Foundation. Our work has been featured by BBC, PRI The World, NPR, Huffington Post Live, Voice Of America, NewsHour, The Lancet, Sierra Magazine, O Magazine, and TEDx, among other journals and publications. We also partner with a variety of government groups and international foundations.