Poverty reduction in the Doi Mae Salong Landscape

Doi Mae Salong Ethnic Akha farmer amongst the varied agricultural landscape of Doi Mae Salong

Project title: Poverty reduction in the Doi Mae Salong Landscape

Location: Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

Duration: 2010 – 2013

Project background: Located in Chiang Rai Province in Northern Thailand, the Doi Mae Salong landscape, home to 35,000 people, has seen diminished ecosystem functions and services over the years as a result of various pressures. Populations in the watershed are also 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.

Since 2007, IUCN through its Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy in collaboration with the Supreme Commander’s Office of the Royal Thai Armed Forces has focused its attention on critical areas to successfully implement a Forest Landscape Restoration Project in this watershed.

This three-year public-private partnership initiative implemented by IUCN supported affected populations by supporting livelihoods and expenditure reduction opportunities via a participatory approach. The work was focused on forest rehabilitation and the development of alternative income generating opportunities that aimed to improve the quality of life of the people living within the landscape while reducing pressure on nature.

Objectives of the project:

The initiative built on the existing structures and aimed at contributing to poverty reduction of the communities by improving the economic situation at the village and household levels through promoting income generation and household expenditure reduction options.


  • Developed a multi-stakeholder platform for land-use planning and negotiations
  • Restored 4,000 rai (640 hectares) of degraded forest, including trees considered framework species and multi-purpose species
  • Implemented bio-engineering projects such as excavation of contour lines on steep maize and rice fields where fruit trees and native species are planted
  • Introduced intensification of multi-cropping and agroforestry systems
  • Introduced income diversification schemes such as nature and community-based tourism

Donors: PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP); and Total Thailand

Partners: Royal Thai Armed Forces; Land Development Office of Chiang Rai; Royal Forest Department; Plant a Tree Today Foundation (PATT); Highland Research and Development Institute (HRDI); and Hill Area Development Foundation (HADF)

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