Pisit Chansanoh

Ashoka Fellow
Thailand,
Fellow Since 1992
Yadfon Association

Citation

This profile was prepared when Pisit Chansanoh was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
An emerging truth of the world-wide environmental movement is that real ecological stability can only come through a sustainable integration of man and nature, not by the creation of parks and refuges alone. This is clearly illustrated in the wetlands of Trang Province, southern Thailand, where the organization founded and directed by Chansnoh, Yad Fon (Raindrop Association), assists fishermen in protecting their local fishing grounds and the mangrove swamps which are the nursery of the future catch. Their fishing grounds need protection from trawlers which illegally fish within the three kilometer limit using nets and dynamite. The fishing areas are also seriously threatened by the local charcoal industry and from profitable shrimp farms whose waste fouls marine breeding areas.
Working closely with fisher folk, respectful of their customs and mores, traditional knowledge and techniques, Yad Fon's field workers identify problems and help find solutions. The resulting strategies form a multi-layered approach to wetland conservation and reclamation which relies on traditional technologies, as well as cooperation and information-sharing with other fishing villages, citizens' organizations with complementary goals, and cooperative government agencies or officials. When these fishermen are convinced that a healthy environment pays off by enabling them to earn a good enough living to support their families, they become empowered to help protect the fragile ecosystem which is being threatened by major forces.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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