In the final installment of her series about Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), guest blogger Nina Finley shares more details about her experience, and how Planetary Health is shaping her research and future plans. You can read more of Nina's writing at her blog, Natural Selections.
For the past month I've been visiting Sukadana, a village nestled on the edge of Gunung Palung National Park in Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. This lowland dipterocarp rainforest is home to 3,000 of the last Bornean orangutans. I’m volunteering here with Yayasan Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), roughly translating to Healthy Balanced Nature, a pathbreaking Planetary Health hospital with a mission to “save the rainforest with a stethoscope.”
Thank you for an amazing 2016! Your outpouring of support has inspired us to set big goals for the new year. We plan to continue strengthening the incredible programs at our partner Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), start replicating our model to other sites in Indonesia, and share our story of win-win solutions with the biggest audience yet.
We hope that you will join us in continuing to fight for a healthy planet with healthy people.
If you are like me, then you too are proudly watching as the Community Hospital and Training Center (CHTC) rapidly approaches completion.
If you are like me, you love hearing stories from community members and volunteers about how the projects at ASRI are affecting them directly and changing the way they see the world.
If you are like me, you are also looking at the future wondering, how can we do more?
We're back with another edition of Research Rundown! This month, Health In Harmony Research Director, Bethany Kois, interviewed Herfina Nababan, a volunteer who recently returned to ASRI after seven years to conduct 71 in-person interviews with members of the community for a realist evaluation aimed at uncovering Health In Harmony's theory of the change. Below she shares how ASRI has changed since her last trip, and what brought her back after so many years! Read More
July’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between. Read More
This month Health In Harmony Research Director, Bethany Kois, interviewed Dr. Gill Westhorp, an Australian researcher who is designing the realist approach survey to evaluate our model at Project ASRI. Read More
Guest blog by Cam Webb
I write with sad news. [...] Last Saturday, there was a huge, hot fire at Laman Satong. Within four hours it spread to almost all areas of our plantings. It seems that mortality of all plants save the tallest trees will be near 100%. One small mercy was that it failed to spread to some of the very first areas we planted in 2009. About a half hectare survived, and still looks green and well. But most of the seedlings planted in the 20 ha are dead.
I heard the news on Sunday and was at the site by noon Monday, with most of the conservation staff of ASRI. We did our best to comfort the field crew, who are dazed and deeply disappointed. We shared thoughts and feelings for a bit, then split into 4 groups and walked around the site. Surprisingly, it rained heavily in the afternoon, just what we were hoping for: a few of the plants teetering on the edge of death might now live. We came back on Tuesday and gently tried to ascertain what had happened on Saturday. Finally we started to ask what people felt we should do next.
Guest blog by Daniel Ebbs
Volunteering at ASRI Klinik in Sukadana, West Borneo, was as much of a learning experience as it was an adventure. From opening our hearts and minds to the people and culture, to experiencing the surrounding jungle and biodiversity, every day we absorbed and saturated our minds with seemingly endless knowledge and amazement. Traveling to Sukadana is an experience that is difficult to describe in words and will, I hope, provide insight to those wishing to witness how health access coalesces with environmental life and health, and how community engagement can produce innovative solutions to save the planet while saving lives.