Sasin Chalermlarp

Ashoka Fellow
Thailand,
Fellow Since 2010
Seub Nakhasathien Foundation

Citation

This profile was prepared when Sasin Chalermlarp was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Sasin is changing the consciousness of forestry officials and turning indigenous people into potential partners, rather than enemies. He has employed a series of conversation starters to create mutual understanding with inhabitants of the forest and the forestry department. Top-level bureaucrats and field officers alike now recognize indigenous mechanisms of forest and wildlife preservation and, despite legal limitations, have revised conservation practices on the ground to include the local forest community.

Sasin is also reuniting forest communities who had previously been under threat by conservation officials. He is reviving old community networks—such as watershed neighborhoods, community doctors, and barter and trade channels with low environmental impact—thus developing alternative models of low-impact communal infrastructure and services. More importantly, these networks are creating and strengthening mechanisms for the community to voice its concerns.

As a result, whereas arrests of forest inhabitants were a common practice in the Western Forest Complex, these have practically ceased to exist. In addition, over 100 forest communities have agreed to common land use regulations and together guard against forest encroachment. Sasin is replicating this collaborative conservation approach in well over 100 other communities along the forest borders, to ensure lasting protection of forest, wildlife, and the right of indigenous communities to coexist with nature.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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