Willie Smits is working to turn the deforestation, caused by palm oil plantations in Indonesia, around.
His district had been deforested because of the desire for palm oil to make bio-diesel (download a BOS report on the threat from palm oil). His organization, Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS), has created 3,000 jobs through reforestation at Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan. Due to Smits, it’s no longer the poorest district and biodiversity has increased.
Watch him speak in this TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) video. Be careful, if you keep your computer in your lap hold onto it because you will want to give him a standing ovation at the end.