Government-promoted commercialization of agriculture was pushing Thailand's farmers into a downward spiral. Increasing cash outlays for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, destruction of natural soil fertility as a result of heavy chemical application and soil erosion, and water shortages due to extensive deforestation had left rural families with debilitating debts and a widespread sense of desperation. But in 1988, when a development project helped farmers to achieve a shared understanding of their predicament, the farmers charted a strategy to restore their environment, economy, and community. Diversification through agroforestry-based farming, home processing of agricultural products, and community forest management enabled villagers to recapture control of their lives. At the same time, restoration of their forest removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making a local contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the control of global warming.
From the EcoTipping Points Project [ecotippingpoints.org]