The Dhamma Rakhsa project (which means “nature is a remedy”) gathers different initiatives of cooperatives, villages, monasteries, schools and associations who spontaneously asked to join the project. It is fully part of the already existing culture of preserving the community forests throughout rural Thailand.
Supporting small-scale farmers is the priority of the project, from the highest peaks of northern Thailand in the Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai regions, down to the coastal low lands of the southern provinces of Krabi. The Dhamma Rakhsa project aims at planting trees and mangroves, with a strong focus in the poorest north eastern regions of Thailand on the Isan plateau, by developing agroforestry models with very disadvantaged rice farmers.
In rural areas of Thailand, there is a strong tradition in community forest conservation. Every village has a small wooded area which is traditionally used for local harvesting, but also for maintenance. These areas are now very small, mainly located on hillsides, where valleys have been entirely deforested for crop production such as rice.
The villagers, organized in committees, plan and participate spontaneously or with the Royal Family or the Government’s help in activities such as planting, soil maintenance and fire protection cuts or in the blessing of trees, with the monks’ help, in order to protect their community forest. The help provided by PUR Projet therefore lies within the protection of a culture of community forests, very present in every rural area of Thailand.
Even though tradition is present, resources are very limited, and villagers generally don’t have the necessary resources to properly maintain, protect and replant their forest. The financial support provided by PUR Projet and its partners improves the activities of villagers and increases significantly the number of planted trees, by providing the support that public authorities generally lack of.
“Dhamma Rakhsa” means “nature is a remedy”. The project gathers different initiatives from cooperatives, villages, monasteries, schools and associations who took the initiative to join the project. The diversity of the people involved is reflected by the variety of planted species, each corresponding to someone’s need: fruit trees (mango trees, longan trees, papaya trees, litchi trees, rambutan trees), aromatic trees (Eagle Wood from which the perfume essence is extracted), medicinal trees (Yang Na, a cousin of the rubber tree, the sap of which is used to treat sore throats), forest trees (such as the teak tree, native of the region, or the Tong Teung, the leaves are used to build houses’ roofs), etc.
127 600 additional trees have been planted in Thailand in 2015.
LocationEast of Thailand (Isan), North (Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai regions) and South (Krabi province)
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerDhamma Rakhsa (PUR Projet local entity), Nam Om cooperative, Raks Thai Foundation
ParticipantsSmall-scale farmers and communities in Isan, Northern and Southern Thailand
Achievements448,000 trees planted (January 2016)
- The Reforestation and Solidarity Standard by Ecocert defines a framework for the implementation, monitoring, assessment and verification of cooperative reforestation and sustainable agroforestry projects and ensures that exigent requirements are met.
– Community networks: Tungpao, Pongkangnam, Den Phu Wiang Lanna, Huoy Pha, Mae Khor, Mae Sa and Mae Hoi.
– Raks Thai Foundation: created in 1997 as a Thai successor to CARE International (Thailand). Expert in community development, natural resource management and assistance to victims of natural disasters.
– Nam Om Cooperative: Organic & Fair trade cooperative of small-scale rice farmers in Yasothon. Partner of the project since 2011. 2 full time employees dedicated to the project. Supervises the other planting projects in Isan (Surin, Sisaket and Buriram provinces) implemented by other Fair Trade rice cooperatives.
– Small-scale coffee, corn and rice farmers
– Coastal communities, mainly relying on fishing for their livelihood.
– Communities of small-scale rice farmers (Organic & Fair Trade)