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Audio: Saving forests and biodiversity by providing affordable healthcare

  • On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Kinari Webb, founder of Health in Harmony, an organization using healthcare for humans to save rainforests and their wildlife inhabitants.
  • In the decade since Heath in Harmony launched its healthcare-for-conservation program in Indonesia’s Gunung Palung National Park, infant deaths in local communities have been reduced by more than two-thirds, the number of illegal logging households in the park has gone down by nearly 90 percent, the loss of forest has stabilized, 20,000 hectares of forest are being replanted, and habitat for 2,500 endangered Bornean Orangutans has been protected.
  • Webb talks about radical listening, the tremendous impacts for rainforests and orangutans of providing affordable healthcare to local communities, and her plans to expand Health in Harmony’s efforts outside of Indonesia on this episode of the Newscast.

On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Kinari Webb, founder of Health in Harmony, an organization using healthcare for humans to save rainforests and their wildlife inhabitants.

Listen here:

 

While spending a year as an undergrad studying orangutans at a remote rainforest field station in Indonesian Borneo, Kinari Webb witnessed firsthand the desperate need for healthcare for local rainforest communities. That’s when she first realized that human health and environmental health are inextricably intertwined — and that she could potentially help save orangutans more effectively by taking care of the health needs of the local human population.

Webb went on to study medicine at Yale, then returned to Indonesia to do some sort of combined health care and conservation program. She didn’t know exactly what that would look like, but she knew the local rainforest communities would be able to tell her. Through her organization, Health in Harmony, she embarked on a process of what she calls “radical listening,” which led to the incredibly successful healthcare-for-conservation program Health in Harmony now runs in Indonesia’s Gunung Palung National Park.

In the decade since Health in Harmony launched the program, infant deaths in local communities have been reduced by more than two-thirds, the number of illegal logging households in Gunung Palung National Park has gone down by nearly 90 percent, the loss of forest has stabilized, 20,000 hectares of forest are being replanted, and habitat for 2,500 endangered Bornean Orangutans has been protected. Mongabay’s 2017 story about the program’s successes was one of the site’s most read articles of the year.

On this episode of the Newscast we get an update, as Webb talks about radical listening, the tremendous impacts for rainforests and orangutans of providing affordable healthcare to local communities, and her plans to expand Health in Harmony’s efforts outside of Indonesia.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

Would you like to hear how Mongabay grew out of its founder’s childhood adventures in rainforests and a fascination with frogs? Or how a Mongabay editor reacted to meeting one of the world’s last Bornean rhinos? We now offer Insider Content that delivers behind-the-scenes reporting and stories like these from our team. For a small monthly donation, you’ll get exclusive access and support our work in a new way. Visit mongabay.com/insider to learn more and join the growing community of Mongabay readers on the inside track.

If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.

You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.

Kinari Webb (right) accepts the program’s 100th chainsaw. Photo by Oka Nurlaila for Health in Harmony.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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