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close this bookConservation and Development in Northern Thailand. Proceedings of a Programmatic Workshop on Agro-forestry and Highland-Lowland Interactive Systems, Held at Chiang Mai, Thailand, 13-17 November 1978 (UNU, 1980, 114 pages)
close this folderSubcommittee reports, plenary discussion, and recommendations
View the documentReport by the subcommittee on documentation, training, and personnel
View the documentReport by the subcommittee on mapping and cover-type data requirements
View the documentReport by the subcommittee on climate, soil. and soil erosion data requirements
View the documentReport by the subcommittee on socio-cultural, demographic, and economic aspects
View the documentPlenary session
View the documentRecommendations


General Recommendations

1. Work towards wider applicability beyond the specific project

Attainment of this goal will involve concern with regional planning; wider problems in the traditional sector. environmental monitoring on a network of points; use of the Huai Thung Choa project as a base; monitoring of other areas as controls; marketing of cash crops rather than productivity; stressing practical education of indigenous (ethnic) peoples so that they would become ''extension agents'' of the project

It will also involve dissemination of information to beyond Northern Thailand, with its attendant need for generation of knowledge, documentation, training, and education, through both the traditional university approach and onthe-job involvement of staff of various relevant ministries and overseas visitors.

2. Transitions in development must not be abrupt

Ideally this could be conceived of as progressive introductions of cash crops into the highlands and strengthening of rice production in the lowlands: such should be coupled with retention of the culture of hill peoples while encouraging more complete identification with Thailand as a national concept

In terms of practical research problems, this calls for an interdisciplinary team approach with a strong socioeconomic component. The immediate objective is to bring together the concepts of swiddening and forestry in a stable human welfare and environmental setting: thus-conservational development

3. Substantive issues must be defined

Emphasize agro-forestry as a new way of looking at forestry and swiddening measures in terms of achieving a balance between human welfare and environmental preservation. In practice this will require tackling the Imperata problem and provision of a good data base through studies of soil erosion. rainfall intensity and runoff. soil nutritional status. geomorphic and cover type maps, as well as analysis and application of terracing techniques and resolution of medical and pest problems arising with permanent field usage

4. Identify and develop appropriate methods

Emphasize training over research with a view to widerscale applicability. Develop the project as an applied research model: begin with a survey of subsistence and cash needs and then determine an ideal land management system to achieve these needs. Survey existing systems, map land capability and work towards optimization. revising goals in light of growing awareness of environmental and socio economic constraints.

5. Seek to reduce population pressures on the land

This is really a summation of all other goals. It should involve limitations on actual population growth rates and movements of people. increased productivity balanced with environmental preservation In particular, care should be taken to ensure introduced cash crops are not labour intensive to the point that they induce an increase in population Intelligent progress in resolution of this complex of problems will be facilitated by the great increase in knowledge and understanding This should result from the proposed holistic approach to research and should be achieved from within the traditions of existing ethnic groups and their ways of life It will not be achieved through attempts to impose upon the indigenous peoples solutions throught out by scientists and bureaucrats.

Specific Recommendations

1. That United Nations University should adopt the pre existing Huai Thung Choa Highland Project and through a three to five-year research grant. broaden it to facilitate development of an interdisciplinary research project in agro forestry and highland lowland interactive systems

2 That specific components of the developing research design be identified as candidates for additional funding beyond the existing UN University Chiang Mai University-Royal Forestry Department financial constraints.

3 That an additional educational and training component be facilitated through award of UNU fellowships to Thai students and faculty This will involve utilization of different forms of training and educational programmes at CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica; and at the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station. USA; and other institutions as appropriate.

4. That Dr. Pisit Voraural be appointed UNU Resident Coordinator of the project and that an evaluation and advisory committee be established to facilitate all aspects of the project.

5. That all efforts be made to achieve collaboration with comparable and complementary projects in Northern Thailand and that all pre-existing information and expertise be utilized to the fullest possible extent.

6 That material support be provided for the Huai Thung Choa field station to increase its effectiveness as a research base.

7. That an association be sought with the newly proposed UNDP colour-air photography and soil-mapping project. This should be arranged in such a way that detailed studies in the Huai Thung Choa field area be used for provision of ground truth to facilitate more accurate air photography interpretation. Conversely the UNDP project could be an important means of extending work at the field station to a much wider area.