In recognition of the World Environment Day, members of 20 hill tribe communities in Doi Mae Salong (Northern Thailand) held a water ceremony on June 5th.
Village elders paid respect to water spirits, and a traditional bamboo construction to bring sacrificial offerings was set up on the Doi Mae Salong River bank. 300 participants from highland as well as lowland communities planted 2000 trees to rehabilitate the watershed’s ecological functions.
As part of the event, the area of Doi Mae Salong was declared a conservation area, where local communities would work together to conserve and rehabilitate common natural resources.
The Doi Mae Salong headwater area is part of IUCN’s Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy (LLS) . The project focuses on watershed rehabilitation and poverty alleviation through measures of forest landscape restoration.
IUCN had sponsored and organized the event in cooperation with the Hill Area Development Foundation, a local Ngo committed to improve and coordinate environmental management and social development in Doi Mae Salong.
Wuttipong Sawanchote, chief of the sub district, said he was committed to support the event being held again next year and announced to fund the tree seedlings. He highlighted the event as a demonstration of how people in the highlands cooperate closely with downstream communities to conserve the environment and water resources they rely on.
For more information about the Livelihoods and Landscapes (LLS) project have a look at the LLS Doi Mae Salong website.