|Conservation 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)|
In the field of natural resources the balance between conservation and development. between economic pressures and environmental integrity, is notoriously difficult to achieve In rural areas of developing countries the tremendous lack of knowledge and scarcity of trained manpower makes this balance much more difficult. The Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources (NRP), one of three proarammes at the United Nations University, has these questions as a central focus. Using the tools of scholarship-research. advanced training, and the dissemination of information-the NRP has been engaged since early 1977 in setting up networks of research and training activities to stimulate provident and ecologically sound use of renewable natural resources. Concentrating its efforts in developing countries, where the problems are most severe and the need is greatest, the NRP is trying to help free these countries from their dependence on scientific expertise imported from developed countries that does not necessarily match their specific developmental or environmental situation. Through its networks the NRP is trying to catalyse scholarly collaboration and the exchange of experience on a ''South to South'' basis.
Following a UNU evaluation mission and several staff visits, Chiang Mai University was designated an associated institution of the UN University for work in the projects on agro forestry and highland-lowland interactive systems.
A major step in the formulation and initiation of activities was the convening of a workshop to discuss these topics in relation to Northern Thailand. This workshop, attended by numerous Thai and outside experts in fields as diverse as anthropology and forestry, geomorphology and agriculture, was held 1317 November 1978 in Chiang Mai, with Dr. Pisit Voraurai as the local organizer. During the workshop, 15 major papers were presented, an excursion was made to the Huai Thung Choa field station in the mountains 85 km northwest of Chiang Mai, and many formal and informal discussions took place.
The present publication is the proceedings of that Chiang Mai University-UNU workshop. Most of the papers presented are included. together with a summary of the discussions. This is not to be regarded as a comprehensive treatise on the environmental and human sciences and related developmental problems of Northern Thailand. Rather, it is intended as a source document and as a basis for the identification and development of an interdisciplinary research programme that should evolve over the next five to ten years. Furthermore, the UNU component is regarded only as a part of a much larger whole. Specifically, it is hoped that these proceedings will assist in achieving a wider collaboration among the many individuals and agencies working in Northern Thailand; facilitate the development of an applied research model that can be adapted for use in comparable environments over a much wider area, including Southeast Asia, appropriate parts of Africa, and Latin America; and help stimulate an increasing exchange of knowledge and experience for mutual benefit as the UNU network of associated institutions continues to expand.
Many individuals and agencies gave their time unsparingly to assist the workshop organizers: the host institution, Chiang Mai University. from its Rector. Professor Pradit Wichaiyadit. down to the many students and junior staff who performed myriad essential courtesies; the staff of the Royal Department of Forestry, Thailand; H.R.H. Prince Bhisatej Rajani and staff of the Royal Hill Tribe Development Project; the staff of the National Research Council of Thailand and of the ThaiAustralian Agricultural Project. We were privileged to be welcomed to Chiang Mai by H.E. Professor Sanya Dharmasakti, Chairman of the Privy Council of Thailand, and by Mr. Pratheung Sitthipongs. Governor of Chiang Mai Province.
Pauline A. Ives served as technical editor of these workshop proceedings. and Laura Koch, Jane Perry, and Linda Shook of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, typed and retyped much of the original manuscript.
The editors would like to express a special debt of gratitude on behalf of both the United Nations University and Chiang Mai University to our colleagues who have devoted so much time to manuscript preparation, presentation, discussion, and advice. without which this publication would never have been possible.
Jack D. Ives