Growing a future for people and wildlife

From our training center in Wang Nam Keaw, FREELAND is helping ex-poacher communities around Khao Yai escape poverty and crime through sustainable organic farming.

Last month, dozens of villagers learned how to cultivate organic mushrooms during a three-day U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored training that also covered barn construction, organic pest control, basic accounting and preparing produce for market.

Learning about mushroom spores

Initiated with support from the Blue Moon Fund, this project seeds self-sustaining organic farming businesses, benefiting rural families, while also giving wildlife populations a chance to rebound.

Seeding alternative livelihoods compliments regular FREELAND ranger trainings to strengthen protected area law enforcement, creating a ‘push-pull’ effect to reduce unsustainable poaching in the forest corridor while also alleviating the conditions that motivate it.

Packing and weighing

With support from USAID and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FREELAND is working to ‘grow a future’ for people and wildlife by scaling up these projects to create a self-sustaining shield of community forest stewardship along the border of the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex:

  • Enhancing protection for biodiversity, watersheds, carbon storage and other environmental services
  • Reducing rural poverty and crime
  • Increasing (healthy) food security

To find out more about project replication plans and how you can help, view the Growing the Future with FREELAND Organics concept note.

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