Hutan worker looks up at jungle
2022 Finalist
Protect
and Restore Nature

Hutan

Country: Malaysia

In Malaysian Borneo, research organisation Hutan is working with the local community to develop a more harmonious coexistence between its wildlife and people.

Their Story

The forests of the Kinabatangan floodplain in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, are among the richest and most biodiverse in the world. They are home to the endangered Bornean orangutan, elephant, proboscis monkey, and clouded leopard. In 1996, Isabelle Lackman co-founded Hutan, a grassroots wildlife research and conservation organisation empowering the local community to protect its unique natural heritage.

Past human activities, however, have broken up large swathes of the Kinabatangan natural forest into fragments. Orangutans and other wildlife are now trapped inside isolated forest patches, with no alternative other than venturing through agricultural land and villages when moving between islands of protected forest.

Human-wildlife conflicts have erupted at the border of the forest fragments, affecting local communities and plantations. Today, the region’s iconic wildlife species are facing the risk of becoming extinct.

For the past 25 years, Hutan with its 100 staff from the local Sungai community, has thoroughly studied and monitored the region’s biodiversity, from wild orangutan and elephant research to hornbill and frog surveys.

This solid science revealed that wildlife could survive in the future if allowed to travel freely and safely between the remaining fragments of protected habitat. These findings now guide Hutan’s efforts to create strategic wildlife corridors and to reforest degraded areas with native trees, ensuring safe passage, food and shelter to orangutans and other species. At the same time, Hutan provides environmental education and training to communities and landowners to live side-by-side with wildlife.

Other Finalists in Protect & Restore Nature

Learn About the Earthshots

Protect
and Restore
Nature
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030, we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting and managing natural carbon stores such as peatlands and intact forests
  2. Restoring forests, wetlands, and other damaged ecosystems
  3. Developing and scaling regenerative agriculture
Learn more about this earthshot

Clean Our
Air
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean, healthy air – at World Health Organization standard or better. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Engaging citizens in data collection and advocacy
  2. Efforts to stop burning in agriculture and forests
  3. Transitioning to clean personal transportation
Learn more about this earthshot

Revive Our
Oceans
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030, we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Reducing and addressing overfishing 
  2. Developing ocean ecosystem services that mitigate climate change: ‘blue carbon’ 
  3. Advancing climate change solutions with ocean benefits 
Learn more about this earthshot

Build a
Waste-free
World
2022/23 PRIORITIES

By 2030, we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Moving towards waste-free food, including efforts to shift to a plant-based diet
  2. Championing waste-free fashion 
  3. Circular solutions: extending the life of goods and/or eliminating single-use goods
Learn more about this earthshot

Fix Our
Climate
2022/23 PRIORITIES

We choose to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon neutral economy that lets every culture, community and country thrive. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Transitioning to renewable energy for all
  2. Reducing methane emissions
  3. Constructing buildings fit for the future
Learn more about this earthshot
The Earthshot Prize