The Masarang Foundation is an Indonesian NGO dedicated to preserving nature through the empowerment of local people. It was initiated by Willie Smits, an environmental scientist, who dedicated over 30 years of his life preserving Borneo from deforestation.
By launching a very successful village hub, and a zero-waste and multi-cropping sugar palm factory, he has managed to improve the well-being of entire villages while generating enough resources to create long lasting abundance – a quintessential objective for permaculture practitioners.
The entire system revolves around one plant: the sugar palm, Arenga pinnata, not to be confused with oil palm! This self-sustained factory is the epitome of harvesting several functions from one element. Sugar, food, fuel, fertilizer, water, forest and wildlife conservation, electricity, education and improved health are some of the yields resulting from the creation of the village hub. A truly remarkable and inspirational design that begs to be emulated.