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Integrated Livelihoods and Landscape Approach for Smallholders in Northern Thailand
This paper examines the strategies and techniques researched and implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in villages in the vicinity of Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. The strategies revolve around the paradigm linking poverty alleviation, conservation and landscape restoration. IUCN and its partners specifically researched and implemented schemes directed toward diversification of the household economy through alternative and sustainable intensified agriculture techniques based on balancing conservation and livelihood objectives. The projects aimed to reduce poverty and build the resilience of smallholders through decentralised governance arrangements including land use planning schemes and stakeholder negotiation. Considering the agro-ecological system on a catchment-wide scale enhances the conceptual understanding of each component, collectively forming a landscape matrix with requisite benefits for biodiversity, smallholder livelihoods and ecosystem services. In particular, the role of enhancing ecosystem services and functions in building socio-ecological resilience to vulnerabilities such as climate and economic variability is paramount in the process.