Friday, June 01, 2012

Willie Smits restores a rainforest



"Willie Smits works at the complicated intersection of humankind, the animal world and our green planet. In his early work as a forester in Indonesia, he came to a deep understanding of that triple relationship, as he watched the growing population of Sulawesi move into (or burn for fuel) forests that are home to the orangutan. [..]
"Smits believes that to rebuild orangutan populations, we must first rebuild their forest habitat -- which means helping local people find options other than the short-term fix of harvesting forests to survive. His Masarang Foundation raises money and awareness to restore habitat forests around the world -- and to empower local people. In 2007, Masarang opened a palm-sugar factory that uses thermal energy to turn sugar palms (fast-growing trees that thrive in degraded soils) into sugar and even ethanol, returning cash and power to the community and, with luck, starting the cycle toward a better future for people, trees and orangs." Ted.com

“If we want to help the orangutans- what I actually set out to do – we must make sure that the local people are the ones that benefit. I think the real key to doing it, if you want a simple answer, is integration.”

MIRAGE: A Short Film about Arcosanti

Mirage from Edan Cohen on Vimeo .