Rural Economic Development: This program aims to reduce poverty by helping communities improve self-reliance and generate local income. Integrating traditional skills with modern business practices, the program assists local artisans in developing business plans and cooperative enterprises and works to expand international markets for fair-trade indigenous arts. With a focus on women’s participation, the project provides seed grants and training for microenterprises such as fish ponds, rice banks, rattan farms, organic community gardens and livestock rearing. The project has also supported cross-cultural Reality Tour exchanges for international travelers.
Green Energy: The Borneo Project assists in development of renewable, non-polluting, locally controlled micro-hydro power systems to provide electricity that sustains local community development. In 2002, installation of a micro-hydro system in Long Lawen provided that village with a cost-effective, clean, and reliable electricity system maintained by the community. The 10-kilowatt system is self-financing and eliminates the need for 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year. It can be used to power schools, cottage industries, and refrigeration for improved food security. With Borneo partners, the Green Energy program aims to develop micro-hydro systems in diverse communities and train community members in systems installation, operation, and maintenance. Communities create rainforest protected areas int he headwaters of watersheds that supply water for the microhydro systems.
Borneo Voices: Borneo Voices works to publicize and build support for indigenous rights, rainforest protection and community-controlled development in Borneo. It mobilizes resources in the U.S. and educates international audiences through speaking tours, information exchange, media outreach, volunteer coordination, research and reporting. Borneo Voices provides ongoing leadership to the network of international organizations, development professionals, public interest groups, and citizens working specifically on Borneo issues and bolsters alliances among these groups. Borneo Voices publicizes the negative impacts of the tropical timber trade and keeps Borneo’s indigenous organizations informed of global trends that impact their communities and forests.