Community-led Reforestation and Food Sovereignty in Thailand

growth
TREES AND SUPPORTING PLANTS
agriculture
HECTARES
farmer (1)
FARMERS
family
TOTAL COMMUNITY MEMBER IMPACTED
Countries (7)

HOST ORGANIZATION

Assembly of the Poor (AOP)

LOCATION

Bangkok, Thailand

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Assembly of the Poor (AOP) is nationwide organization of grassroots community-based organizations and groups of people affected by Thai government’s policies and economic development projects. Members of AOP are both the rural and urban poor, e.g. farmers, small-scale food producers, forest products collecting farmers, traditional fisherfolks, the indigenous and workers. Grow Ahead has partnered with the AOP to support a project that enhances agroforestry and community forests for food sovereignty across Thailand. Working in the Baan Na Community (Phattalung province, South), Gud Ting Community (Bungkarn province, Upper Northeast) and Kok-Edoi Community (Srakaew province, Lower Northeast), AOP is implementing an agroforestry program to grow more native trees and increase biodiversity in the integrated farms, agroforestry farms, community forests and family food forests.

The goals of the project are:

  1. To grow more native trees and increase biodiversity in the integrated farms, agroforestry farms, community forests and family food forests. 
  2. To enhance food sovereignty and agroecological production at local levels.
  3. To hand down the peasants’ knowledge about native trees forest conservation to the youth.
  4. To encourage the capacity and role of peasant youth in growing trees and reforestation activities.

The Assembly of the Poor is fighting against the mainstream and conservative reforestation of the government. The current governmental policy generally fails to deliver any effective results and negatively affects local people and local ecosystems through forced removal of native villages, criminalizing traditional uses of forests and clear cutting original forests for reforestation events and brining in non-native but commercial trees. Instead, AOP is demonstrating that people can sustainably live with forests and that they have knowledge and capability to manage their own natural resources and native genetic resources.

Assembly of the Poor Thailand

Assembly of the Poor (AOP) is the non-registered nationwide organization of grassroots community-based organizations and groups of people who are affected by Thai government’s policies and economic development projects. Members of AOP are both the rural and urban poor, e.g. farmers, small-scale food producers, forest products collecting farmers, traditional fisherfolks, the indigenous and workers. AOP operates in 30 provinces, in all regions, of Thailand, covering approximately 1,000 households. 

Facing economic injustice and violation of community rights, human rights, peasants’ rights and worker rights, grassroots people organized themselves into groups to demand resolutions from the governments. For many years their struggles were fruitless.  In December 1995, many grassroots groups nationwide decided to unite in the name of Assembly of the Poor as a political platform to demand the state’s resolution to their problems, genuine people participation in policies, self-determination and rights to community natural resources. AOP is a member of La Via Campesina in the Region of Southeast and East Asia (SEEA LVC).

ecological
Grow Ahead teams up with community organizations around the world to support projects that improve the environment and community livelihoods.