About Us

The aim of the Masarang Foundation is to save the environment through the active participation of local people. Through its projects, the foundation works on solutions for the most pressing problems the world currently faces: climate change, extinction of plants and animals, destruction of ecosystems, poverty and underdevelopment. Masarang manages projects that achieve maximum improvement for the people and nature at a minimum cost. The projects link the possibilities of nature, the potential of local people, local traditions and customs, science and technology.

History

The Masarang Foundation was founded in 2001 by Willie Smits (Indonesian, born in The Netherlands). The organization is strongly rooted in the local Indonesian community and currently has about 40 local employees. In December 2010 Masarang International was launched, which makes the Masarang projects in Indonesia visible outside of the country. This foundation is run solely by volunteers. Masarang has experience, most projects have been running for several years. For the good results Masarang and her staff have received a number of environmental awards. The foundation won the Padma Award 2009 granted by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and was a finalist in BBC World Challenge 2007 for charities (was among the top 12 charities in the world). In addition, three individual employees have won the highest environmental prize in Indonesia, the Kalpataru, handed out by the president. Willie Smits has received nine awards and is often asked for his opinion as an expert by (international) media including the BBC, National Geographic and CNN. Masarang has experience, most projects have been running for several years. For the good results Masarang and her staff have received a number of environmental awards. The foundation won the Padma Award 2009 granted by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and was a finalist in BBC World Challenge 2007 for charities (was among the top 12 charities in the world). In addition, three individual employees have won the highest environmental prize in Indonesia, the Kalpataru, handed out by the president. Willie Smits has received nine awards and is often asked for his opinion as an expert by (international) media including the BBC, National Geographic and CNN.

Objectives

  • Protecting nature by providing alternatives to the local population
  • Preserving the unique biodiversity of Indonesia and keep endangered plants and animals from becoming extinct
  • Replanting and expanding the forest and make better use of its ecological and economic potential
  • Implementing (agricultural) production methods that do not pollute, strengthen nature and give a better output for the local population
  • Offering the local population education and development opportunities to fight poverty, increase self reliance and contribute to the preservation of the environment.

Activities

The foundation currently has several environmental and social projects in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Its activities include reforestation, education and research, saving wildlife and sustainable production. Masarang takes many initiatives to educate the local population and offer sustainable alternatives. In the projects the local people, wild animals and nature influence each other in a positive way so that they all win. Local environmental solutions can have a global impact because they can be applied elsewhere as well. For more information.

Masarang is a small foundation whose (non-profit) activities cost money but are creating a great return for nature, the development of locals and in the end: the world. So far, Willie Smits has paid much of the funding by himself. Due to insufficient resources it is often hard to keep the projects running, while we actually would like to expand them in order to have a bigger impact on a better environment and social conditions. The people in the West also benefit from preserving ancient forests and biodiversity. This is the main reason Masarang International was founded: to inform more people about the distinctive approach and projects in Indonesia and to receive foreign donations.

  • Participation of local people
  • Environmental protection is carried out with the cooperation of, and in the interest of the local population. Nature preservation can only be sustainable if the locals will benefit and support it. The organization is rooted in the local community.
  • Balanced integrated Approach
  • Masarang does not look at an environmental issue in isolation, but provides solutions which tie various interests together. The environment must be saved, but salvation should both yield money and be supported by the local community. To do this, knowledge, technology and scientific insights are linked and used. Finally, the approach has to work in a local, e.g. legal, context. (see accompanying figure).
  • Masarang has innovative solutions that work
  • Masarang detects not only problems but also implements smart and innovative solutions which have been shown to work. Masarang fights not only the symptoms of an environmental problem, but tackles them at the core and implements sustainable solutions that work long-term. Since the years of its founding, the organization has proven that its approach works and has made.