Growing the Future: Poachers to Protectors

by Friends of FREELAND Foundation


This project helps disadvantaged rural families in Thailand start sustainable organic farming as an alternative to poaching wildlife and illegal logging in protected areas.

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There are hundreds of poor rural villages in close proximity to Central Thailand’s Dong Phayayen - Khao Yai Forest Complex, which is home to endangered tigers, elephants, hornbills, bears, gibbons, and many other wild animals. The few opportunities for employment pay low wages, barely enough to subsist on. Communities rely on the forest in many ways, but unsustainable poaching is damaging the environment and threatening legitimate livelihoods, such as farming.


This project helps rural families escape poverty and crime on a path that reduces pressures on nearby ecosystems and wildlife, by providing training and establishment support for their own low-impact, sustainable organic farming businesses.

Long-Term Impact

The organic farming businesses this project helps establish are sustainable and have been shown to reduce poaching by up to 70%. Villages reached become models for surrounding villages to copy, magnifying the impact and allowing wildlife to rebound.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


FREELAND's Alternative Livelihoods Program
Khao Yai Experiences - blog from the community

Organization Information

Friends of FREELAND Foundation

Location: Bangkok - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FREELANDpeople
Friends of FREELAND Foundation
Seamas McCaffrey
Project Leader:
Seamas McCaffrey
Bangkok, Bangkok Thailand

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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