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Jakarta Post

ASRI’s chainsaws vs stethoscopes program

  • Julia Suryakusuma

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 21 2018   /  01:42 am

Guns and butter. Even non-macroeconomists know what that means right? It’s national security versus human security, e.g. food, clothing, health, housing, etc. — the classic notion of opportunity cost.

But have you ever heard of chainsaws versus stethoscopes? Does it refer to a one-or-the-other deal as well?

Kinari Webb, an activist, thinks that if it’s a choice between forest preservation and the environment, and people’s health and welfare, then no. In fact people’s health is not just connected, but inextricably linked to the health of the planet.

This is certainly the case in the areas around Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP) in West Kalimantan; in fact the choices are pretty stark. To provide for their family’s wellbeing and health, locals often have to resort to illegal logging. For example, Pak Sofyan cut down 60 trees to pay for his wife’s C-s...