The Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF) is a private non-profit organization established to improve the quality of life of the people in poverty and deprived of opportunities. The Foundation provides the people in the project area with education, proper infrastructure, and legitimate ways to earn their living, while fostering co-existence between man and nature. It also encourages the conservation of Lanna and tribal arts, traditions and cultures.
One area of focus for The Mae Fah Luang Foundation is their alternative development (AD) programme. AD programs have helped villagers in remote areas, particularly ethnic minorities, reduce or quit their dependence on illicit crops and turn toward sustainable farming, while maintaining, or even improving, their income, and helping to reforest denuded mountainsides from their slash and burn cultivation.
By working with and alongside villagers, The Mae Fah Luang Foundation are discovering the importance of empowering locals to build livelihoods that generate income and a healthier environment for their communities.
The problems faced by the villagers of hills of Doi Tung are not unlike those of El Meta in central Colombia which, in 2007, was one of Colombia’s top five municipalities with the largest coca cultivation area and potential cocaine production. A recent visit of Colombian officials to Doi Tung has proven to be a source of inspiration and renewed thinking surrounding how best to work with communities beset with problems of illicit drug crops.
See here for more information on the The Mae Fah Luang Foundation AD program in Doi Tung.