Productive Landscapes, better lives

28 April 2010 | News story

Joint initiative launched for poverty reduction in Doi Mae Salong, Thailand

The PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP), the leading energy producer in Thailand, energy producer and provider TOTAL E&P Thailand and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, signed a Memorandum of Agreement at the Energy Complex Building in Chatuchak, Bangkok, to jointly launch a project on poverty reduction in the Doi Mae Salong Landscape by improving local economic conditions through income generation opportunities.

Located in Chiangrai Province of Thailand, the Doi Mae Salong landscape, home to 35,000 people, has diminished in ecosystem functions and services over the years as a result of social pressures. It has been recognized that the populations in the watershed are living in significant poverty and are vulnerable to unpredictable risks such as seasonal climatic variations which affect their crops and economic shocks such as market shifts.

This three year public-private partnership initiative to be implemented by IUCN will support affected populations by engaging in income generation and expenditure reduction opportunities using a participatory approach.

Since 2007, IUCN through its Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy in co-operation with the Supreme Commander’s Office of The Royal Thai Armed Forces has focused its attention on the most critical area, successfully implementing a Forest Landscape Restoration Project in this watershed. The work has been focused on forest rehabilitation and supporting the development of alternative income generating opportunities that aim to improve the ecosystem function and quality of life of the people living within the landscape. The current initiative will build on the existing structure and contribute to poverty reduction of the population by improving the economic situation at the village and household level, through promoting income generation and household expenditure reduction options.

Mr Anon Sirisaengtaksin, the President and CEO of PTTEP stated that the company was committed to sustainable social development, operating its business while making a contribution to society in return. Mr Michael D Sangster, President and General Manager of Total E&P, Thailand said that the partnership demonstrated how companies with like minded principles could join together and collectively invest in such interventions.

Ms Aban Marker Kabraji, the Regional Director of IUCN Asia, emphasized that the project would serve to mobilize public private partnerships to collaborate in mainstreaming conservation and social considerations into business.

The Memorandum of Agreement was signed in Bangkok, Thailand on 26 April, 2010 by:

  • Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, Regional Director of IUCN Asia
  • Mr. Anon Sirisaengtaksin, President and Chief Executive Officer of PTTEP
  • Mr. Michael D. Sangster, President and General Manager of TOTAL E&P Thailand