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Community-Based Rainforest Restoration Work is Huge Success in Borneo

In his twenty minute talk, Willie Smits (a Dutch forestry scientist who emigrated to Indonesia 20 years ago to help the country grow trees) explains how a chance encounter with a dying baby Orangutan changed the direction of his work – culminating not only in his creating the biggest orangutan rehabilitation center in the world, but also in restoring large tracts of rainforest in a community-based endeavour that is bringing work and prosperity to the people too.

The word ‘Permaculture’ is never mentioned in the following TED presentation, but the project that is the subject of this talk certainly contains many elements of Permaculture design. Among the spectacular results of the project is a documented cooling in local climate, increased cloud cover and rainfall, and a rapid increase in biodiversity of flora and fauna.


  1. I think this is a beautiful example of what we can achieve and is the solution for the future and I think what Daniel Quinn said in his book Ishmael “with man gone will there be hope for gorilla?, and with gorilla gone will there be hope for man?”

  2. Georgeous!. I absolutely on’t understand why such projects don’t get funding, or why funding gets cut short. “Greening the Desert” had the same effect on me. WHY was funding cut?

  3. I wish there was a transcript for this video – I’d love to view it. No chance of viewing this on a slow dial up connection – it would take days.

  4. i grew up on a permaculture farm in australia and have much experience i have planted trees for investment profit, bush regeneration and food forest i am in borneo at the moment but am having troube finding anything i can do to help without having to pay somone if any one can help me it would be much apreaciated

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