Collaboration 1: Saving Rainforests


Watch Willie Smits video - it's guaranteed to inspire you
Dr Willie Smits believes that to rebuild orang-utan 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. By piecing together a complex ecological puzzle, biologist Willie Smits has found a way to re-grow clear cut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans -- and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems.

Encourage a global conversation and use discussions to create a post titled 'How does a Willie Smits idea help combat deforestation?

Continue to Collaboration 2: Tree Planting »