Dr. Courtney Howard is an emergency room physician who has witnessed the health impacts of climate change firsthand through her work in the Canadian Arctic. Bringing years of experience in medicine, public health, and planetary health, she recently joined Health In Harmony's Board of Directors and visited our pilot program, Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), to provide clinical instruction to their doctors. This post from Courtney's blog shows the impact of our Chainsaw Buyback program, an innovative way to promote sustainable livelihoods and help the few remaining loggers put down their chainsaws once and for all.
Along with the rest of the world, we were saddened to read the coverage several weeks ago about the precipitous decline of the world’s orangutan population over the last 16 years. Fascination with these incredible cousins of ours is what first drew me to Borneo 20 years ago, and I left with a concern for them and our whole planet that has fueled the work of Health In Harmony ever since.
Last month, we welcomed Ashley Emerson as Health In Harmony's new Program Director. With a Masters in International Development, Community, and Environment from Clark University and years of experience leading and developing international programs around the world, we are thrilled to have her on the team. And to give you the chance to get to her know too, we sat down with her this week for an interview.
Why rain forests are important is a question with a complex answer. Rain forests are Earth’s oldest and most complex ecosystem. Fifty percent of the world’s plants and animals are found in rain forests, and scientists estimate that there may be millions of plants, insects, and microorganisms still undiscovered.
Imagine a beautiful place where wildlife thrives. It’s tranquil, lush, and almost completely untouched by humans. It’s a place that benefits the Earth because the plants and animals in it coexist exactly as Mother Nature intended. Many of you would call this place a paradise. Unfortunately, this paradise is being threatened. It’s being destroyed, leaving animals without a home and accelerating climate change. Rain forest conservation in Borneo is the key to stopping this destruction.
Health In Harmony has partnered with ASRI to teach local farmers about farming in a way that is helping combat climate change in Indonesia. Sustainable farming techniques reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and holding carbon in vegetation and soils.
Rural health care in Indonesia is in crisis right now. Consider these statistics: The life expectancy in Indonesia is 67 years old. Only 5% of the population is currently over the age of 65. In addition, approximately a third of children under 5 suffer from stunted growth. Diarrheal disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and polio are some of the most common killers among Indonesians.
February's latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
Guest blog by Dr. Krista Farey
Imbolc this week, the half way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox observed by Celts, like me, though I’m not aware of anyone else celebrating Imbolc here. The big holiday coming up in Southeast Asia, is, of course, the onset of the year of the Fire Monkey next week, an event I’m excited to be in Thailand for. I have been in five airports recently and they are all festooned by red lanterns with long tassels and posters and statues of cartoonish monkeys prancing mischievously. The huge major hub airports are hardly distinguishable from each other in décor, concessions and processes, and I can’t help musing on the change since the first time I passed through Bangkok over 40 years ago. The Bangkok International Airport was then a very small open-air building with two gates, one runway, one local handicraft shop and one café, much like the small town airport that I started this trip from yesterday morning.
Guest blog by Daniel Gavin
Just a month after receiving my undergraduate degree I took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to the Borneo rain forest as a research assistant in Gunung Palung National Park. For over a year I helped run Cabang Panti field station, traveled its many kilometers of trails, and helped the core data collection that streamed in from our dedicated staff, about fruiting patterns, animal censuses, and the dynamics of the trees and seedlings. The astounding biodiversity spread across seven distinct landforms and forest types meant “discoveries”, at least to this neophyte, every day.
January's latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
An open invitation to the villages calling all loggers for hire for construction on ASRI’s new Community Hospital Training Center (CHTC) is taking sustainable construction to the next level.
Well before ASRI broke ground on the CHTC, the staff had made sure to include a clause stating they will hire 40% of local labor during the duration of construction. The labor was defined as low-skill labor to people without construction training for work under the supervision and direction of the CHTC contractor. The jobs include excavation, block laying, and construction of temporary form work to support concrete.
For our last What We're Reading of the year, we've rounded up our staff's favorite articles of the year. What were your favorite picks of 2015?
Guest blog by Latha Swamy
Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.
If you are on this page, you have probably heard or read this statement before. Most recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released this call to action in the lead up to the UN Climate Negotiations (21st Conference of the Parties, or COP21) in Paris in early December.