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The rush towards modernization in Thailand has had negative consequences for many rural villages. Some villages near Khon Kaen are using traditional, local knowledge to move beyond modernization and build a more sensible, sustainable future.
 
These articles contain valuable ideas for remedying problems caused by modernization. Of course there is an even greater lesson to be learned here. Programs that abandoned traditional ways and embraced the promises of modernization should be scrutinized very carefully. The long term and indirect consequences to the environment need to be considered.
 
This is a lesson not only for developing countries. We are all dependent on the resources of the earth. People in the villages of Thailand live a simpler life, much closer to nature than in developed countries. That is why these villages were able to see the dramatic effect deforestation and pollution had on the environment so clearly and so quickly. These same problems occur in developed country as well, whether they recognize them or not.
 
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Sustainable Agriculture
Farmers in Nong Sai are abandoning chemical pesticides and fertilizers to use healthier, more sustainable forms of agriculture.
 
Saving the Forest
Ban Pra-bat and Ban Huay-bong villages are replanting the local forest, the traditional source for many daily needs, which was cleared for lumber and to make room for modern agriculture.
 
Local Wisdom in School Curriculum
Ban Narai and Ban Daeng schools are blending local knowledge and traditions into their curriculum, making them more relevant to the needs of the community.
 

For more information, email Mr. Chalin Subpamong , Program Support Manager c-thaila@plan.geis.com
 
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