This profile was prepared when Nikom Putta was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
Nikom Putta believes that the best way to protect large natural resource areas that encompass many small townships is to take a locally based, cooperative approach. Townships must work together under mutually agreed-upon management rules to preserve resources they hold in common. Nikom has therefore developed a mapping project that demonstrates the necessity of cooperation and encourages communities to understand all of the demands placed on their local resources. To follow up, Nikom organizes meetings between communities, and helps them negotiate conflicts of interest. His aim is to help them codify regulations on resource use, the effects of which will be felt downstream.Nikom believes that once developed, his system of community cooperation will serve as a model to spread to the management of other Thai resources.