FREELAND’s community outreach team encourages villagers to give up illegal poaching and logging activities through a combination of environmental awareness and the development of small-scale income generating projects.
Farming activities, such as organic mushroom cultivation, improve villagers’ standard of living and consequently reduce poaching and habitat destruction. This, in turn, helps maintain a healthy ecosystem for both people and wildlife.
FREELAND's community outreach projects are focused on several villages around the the World Heritage listed Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, which extends from Central Thailand to the Cambodian border. The projects have made a huge difference in the lives of the villagers. Participating families are now earning an average of 7,000-10,000 Thai baht (US $215-305) per month. This means they no longer need to supplement their incomes by poaching.
Key impacts include:
• Long term forest protection for biodiversity, watersheds, carbon storage & other environmental services
• Poverty alleviation and crime reduction
• Enhanced (healthy) food security
Just USD500 can help an ex-poacher family establish their organic mushroom growing business.
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Part of FREELAND's broader Surviving Together program to stop poaching and illegal logging in protected areas, these community outreach projects are a model for rural community engagement and promoting sustainable alternative livelihoods across the region.
To learn more, download our flyer: