What If One Tree Had Everything You Needed?

Conservationist Willie Smits believes the best way to save Indonesia’s forests is to focus on its trees—specifically, the sugar palm, which acts as a one-stop-shop for the local population. This Great Energy Challenge grantee refers to the sugar palm as “the champion of photosynthesis” and believes it is the most productive tree in the tropics. 

Smits founded the Masarang Foundation to collaborate with the local people and demonstrate the value in the natural world around them. He designed “the Village Hub,” a turnkey mini-factory that transforms the sticky juice from the sugar palm into food, electricity, materials, and jobs for the local community.