Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand, Katja Nordgaard, went on a field visit 29-30 of May organized by RECOFTC to the Karen villages Ban Mae Kapoo and Ban Mae Lankham in Sa Merng District, Chiang Mai.
RECOFTC, the Centre for People and Forest, has a country programme in Thailand that enhances local community capacities for sustainable forest management. The objectives of the trip was to understand the current situation of community forestry and natural resource management in Thailand. The delegation met with representatives from both villages and were shown different agriculture practices. The delegation also learned about challenges of government policies on ethnic groups, land and community resource rights, sustainable community forest management and food security.
A few decades ago, issues related to drugs and forest destruction were of serious concern in the area. The successful implementation of the Thai-Norwegian High Land Development Programme encouraged alternative income for different ethnic groups in the area. Later on RECOFTC, with support from Norway, has played a vital role in building capacity for the communities in preserving their forests and traditional way of living.
Visit: http://www.recoftc.org/site/ for more information about their work.
Words and photos: Norwegian Embassy in Thailand