free webinar | June 22 | 9am pst

Restore the World’s Rainforests

Join Health In Harmony, Mongabay, and expert panelists from Blue Ventures, International Animal Rescue, and the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project for a timely discussion on rainforest restoration around the world.

These organizations will share the urgent work they are doing to protect and regenerate rainforests to improve the health of rainforest communities, endangered orangutans, and all who benefit from the lungs of the Earth. Now, more than ever, their holistic approaches to conservation are critical, in the wake of the climate crisis, COVID-19, and racial justice movements that affirm no one challenge can be resolved in a silo.

Join us for this important Q&A with expert panelists from the US, UK, and Indonesia. Then, take action for people, wildlife, and the planet on World Rainforest Day and every day after.


Rhett Butler (moderator) | Founder and CEO | Mongabay

Rhett Butler founded Mongabay in 1999 with the mission of raising interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife. For the first ten years of the project, he operated Mongabay on his own, publishing thousands of stories and tens of thousands of photos. Today Rhett serves as Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Mongabay, a nonprofit media organization with more than 50 staff across five bureaus (Global, Indonesia, Latin America, Brazil, and India) and a network of around 500 correspondents in 70 countries who pursue stories ranging from conventional news articles to deeply-reported investigative projects. Outside of these pursuits, Rhett has advised a wide range of organizations, including governments, multilateral development agencies, media outlets, academic institutions, foundations, and private sector entities. He also speaks regularly on topics surrounding forests and the environment, non-profit journalism, and new media.

Dr. Kinari Webb | Founder | Health In Harmony

Kinari developed the vision for Health In Harmony on an undergraduate trip, studying orangutans at Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesian Borneo in 1993. Dr. Webb graduated from Yale University School of Medicine with honors and then founded Health In Harmony in 2005 to support the combined human and environmental work that she envisioned. Kinari also co-founded The Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) Medical Center with Hotlin Ompusunggu and Antonia Gorog. Kinari currently splits her time between Indonesia, international site assessments, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mahardika Putra | Program Director | ASRI Medical Center

Dika joined ASri as Conservation Director two years ago, and was recently promoted to program director, where he oversees asri initiatives like chainsaw buyback, forest guardians, organic farming, goats for widows, and reforestation. he is currently pursuing his phd in Forest Genetics and Diversity. he is an expert on Bornean ecosystems and has done extensive academic research on Ironwood trees.

Dr. Vik Mohan | Medical Director | Blue Ventures

Dr. Vik Mohan is an Exeter based GP, Medical Director to Blue Ventures Conservation, and architect of Blue Ventures’ award winning integrated health and conservation program. While working with communities in Madagascar on Blue Ventures’ community based marine conservation program, his interest in community health led him to uncover a huge unmet need for healthcare, and sexual and reproductive healthcare in particular. Responding to this need, he led the development of the region’s first sexual and reproductive health service and oversaw its integration into the portfolio of Blue Ventures’ activities, to form an integrated Population, Health and Environment program. After over ten years of supporting the implementation and growth of this program, he has witnessed first-hand the multiple benefits of working in this integrated and holistic way, from improved natural resource management and community resilience, through to improvements in maternal and child health. This has inspired him to try and ensure that as many people as possible benefit from this “whole system” approach to conservation and sustainable development. His work with Blue Ventures now focuses on supporting others to adopt this approach, in Madagascar and beyond.

Dr. Karmele Llano Sanchez | Program Director | International Animal Rescue

After studying Veterinary Medicine first in Spain, then in Australia, DR. KARMELE LLANO SÁNCHEZ traveled to Indonesia in 2003 to volunteer at a number of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers. During this time, she got to know a team of Indonesian people who shared her passion for conservation and animal welfare and together they established an Indonesian NGO. However, not long after this, in 2007, IAR Chief Executive Alan Knight OBE, approached Karmele with an offer of funding to set up and run the first rescue and rehabilitation center for slow lorises and macaques in Bogor, Java. It was in Java that Karmele got the prominent scar on her forehead, while trying to sedate a gibbon that was running wild and scared in a public market.

In 2009, Karmele answered a call for help to treat an orangutan chained up as a pet in Pontianak, West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo.) JoJo was living in a shocking state of squalor and neglect and it was Karmele’s determination to help him that led to IAR setting up the first rescue and rehabilitation center for orangutans in Ketapang, West Kalimantan province. The facility is currently home to more than 100 orangutans of all ages, shapes and sizes. The majority of these are undergoing a lengthy rehabilitation process in order to be returned to their rightful home in the forest. Karmele leads a large team of veterinarians, scientists, primatologists and animal carers, as well as many administrative and support staff who all play a vital role in the smooth running of the centers in Ciapus and Ketapang. Both centers have been accredited by GFAS, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. But furthermore, Karmele and her team are expanding the work by stimulating communities, government and non-government institutions and private sector to collaborate and take action in protect the environment, and to promote the sustainable management of the natural resources through awareness campaigns, capacity building and community, with the aim to protect habitats and biodiversity through a compassionate conservation approach.

Dr. Cheryl Knott | Founder | Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project

Dr. Cheryl Knott is a biological anthropologist who studies, and works to protect, the wild orangutans of Borneo. She is the founder and Director of one of the longest running primate research projects in the world – the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project (GCOPC) – which focuses on scientific research and community conservation to protect wild orangutans and their habitat. Dr. Knott earned her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1999 where she was an Associate Professor until 2008 when she joined the faculty at Boston University. At BU she is a Professor of Anthropology and Biology, the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Anthropology and a Core Faculty member in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Program.

Dr. Knott has been studying wild orangutans in Indonesia’s Gunung Palung National Park since 1992. Her work reveals how orangutan adaptations, such as the longest inter-birth interval of any mammal and the evolution of two adult male morphs, are shaped by their ecology.  She pioneered the use of non-invasive techniques to measure orangutan hormones, caloric intake and physiology in the wild.  In 2000, she co-founded GPOCP which works to protect this critically endangered species, and their habitat, through education, public awareness campaigns, population and habitat censuses, sustainable livelihood development, establishment of village-run customary forests, investigation of the illegal pet trade and active engagement with Indonesian government organizations.

She has published over 50 scientific articles and collaborates with her husband, National Geographic photographer Tim Laman, on creating popular books, articles and films on orangutans to help the public develop a greater appreciation for these magnificent animals.

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