Rare Conservation Harnesses the Power of Photography

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Oil palm plantations for the production of palm oil (used in food, soaps, detergents, cosmetics and biofuel) are one of the leading causes of deforestation in tropical rain forests around the world. In fact, Indonesia made the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records for having the fastest deforestation rate of any major forested country. Pengli works an oil palm plantation near the village of Tempayung in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. His daily wages average about US$3/day which puts him just above the subsistence poverty line, but with little opportunity to make more and improve his status. It's a downward spiraling cycle where as the forests are destroyed, communities that used to be able to rely on growing their own food and finding clean water locally must now work for wages, often for the companies destroying the forests, just to purchase basic necessities. To read the Rare Blog about the larger project from which this story is drawn, visit: http://www.rareconservation.org/blog/