Founded on Radical Listening, Health In Harmony is a rainforest conservation organization holistically addressing the health of people, ecosystems, and the planet.
In 1993, Dr. Kinari Webb was an undergraduate studying orangutans in one of the most pristine tropical rainforests in Borneo, Gunung Palung National Park. There she encountered not only a threatened natural environment, but also the dire health needs of the local communities. Kinari realized that these two problems were connected.
In order to pay for scarce and expensive healthcare, villagers had no choice but to sneak into the park and illegally cut down trees to sell for small amounts of money. Deforestation and lack of quality healthcare are both life-threatening problems. But when the rainforest thrives, so do humans.
An intact rainforest can provide drinking water, guard against flooding, and reduce malaria and waterborne disease. An intact rainforest absorbs pollutants and carbon dioxide, breathing life into surrounding communities. Since human health and the health of the rainforest are so deeply intertwined, Kinari decided that there had to be a way to tackle them together.
After medical school, Kinari and her rainforest biologist husband, Cam Webb, returned to Borneo. Kinari teamed up with Dr. Hotlin Ompusunggu and, together with a team of dedicated Indonesians, they held more than 400 hours of meetings with communities around Gunung Palung National Park. Using a process that Kinari named Radical Listening, these meetings led to a blueprint for healthcare and conservation programs that actually worked in harmony with each other. The fundamental concept of Health In Harmony was born.
Rainforest community expertise
Holistic and interdependent solutions
A decolonizing mindset
Bridging global resources
a note from our founder
I believe that all of us, everywhere on the planet, want to live more in balance with the environment. Yet for most of us, there are barriers that keep us from making the choices that would improve both our short-term and long-term well-being. As a species, we need to go through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — just as in facing a serious illness. But “acceptance” should not mean passively accepting defeat, but rather recognizing that we have no choice but to take on this challenge. At Health In Harmony, we have shown that there is hope, and if we partner across the world, together we can achieve great impact. I truly believe that each one of us has something we can contribute to the collective path of transformation towards a sustainable planet for us all. So I ask you, “What is your commitment to making one change our planet needs now?”