Doi Tung Development Project

The Doi Tung Development Project has transformed a community from its dependence on opium cultivation and trafficking into a community that possesses pride and dignity, transformed illicit livelihoods into honest and stable incomes, and transformed denuded mountains into green forests. Doi Tung is located in the centre of the Golden Triangle, which in the past was a leading centre for the production and trafficking of illicit drugs of the world. The region was made up of denuded mountains, with forests having been destroyed by slash and burn cultivation. Most villagers in the area were stateless, lived in dire poverty without any basic public amenities, and were uneducated. Furthermore, the presence of armed militia in the area reduced the safe economic possibilities available to local populations, with resulting deforestation, opium poppy cultivation, drug and sex trafficking proliferating.

The Doi Tung Development Project therefore took a people-centric development approach and instituted comprehensive measures that covered health, livelihoods, and education. It also encouraged “a mutual and sustainable coexistence between man and forest.”

The Doi Tung Development Project has helped to improve the well-being of the people, provide life skills training and create a stable income for every member of the community through five business units: food processing, handicrafts, cafés, tourism and agriculture. It has provided an opportunity for the people of Doi Tung to create products and services for the world with a sense of pride, becoming a true model for sustainable development.