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The need for eco-warriors in Thailand

January 23, 2011

Some newspapers only deal with accidents, murder and rape, aiding to the depression of society and the satisfaction of primitive desires in humans. Other newspapers, like the Bangkok Post, address important issues for a positive development in society. We have previously linked to a refreshing article on Thai education, and this time we link to a new article. Here is an extract:

“Our society would certainly benefit from having more eco-warriors around to help safeguard the environment, if the experience of other countries is anything to go by. They might even be able to exert sufficient influence to combat the apathy and greed that have been so rampant in the past decade”. Read the full article here!

One local hero in Chiang Mai is Ricky Ward. He did not settle here to chase bar girls, a common prejudiced view of white men. He is simply a modest man bringing light to a cave of apathy. His informal organization is Ghum Hak Doi Suthep, which translates as the Love Mount Suthep Club.

Ricky has been working for some years propagating and planting local trees which have gone missing from much of the public land near and in our city.The membership consists of those people who get involved in the activities. No troublesome fee or bureaucratic statutes, but focus on action. Being fluent in Thai, Ricky successfully involves Thai citizens and cooperates with government agencies, such as the Forest Department and in campaigns to protect the forest such as anti-burning campaigns.

Gum Hak Doi Suthep is very much assisted by a sister group, the international citizens of Chiang Mai, especially through its website: , managed by Alan Bull in London. Ricky does most of the posting on the site. This organization does not have a treasury and expenses come out of the pockets of members.

Although 76% of the Thais believe corruption is OK, indicating this is the fraction of the population with limited education and/or greedy aims, the remaining 24% should stick together and bring our country to a prosperous future.

There is an eminent book series entitled ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams. Since Douglas Adams addressed eternal questions via humour, the pompous Swedish Academy never realized or acknowledged Adams’s ingenious descriptions of human behaviour. He perfectly pinpointed the philosophy of the Talibans by describing the fictional ‘Lords of Krikkit’, and their reaction to the discovery there is a different world outside their own. Anyhow, one point in Adams’s book is that anyone aspiring for power is automatically unsuitable, due to his egoistic aspirations. Consequently, the ruler of the universe is a decent regular man who is totally unaware of his powers. If an Eco-warrior like Ricky Ward was such a man, our world would look quite different.

Ketsanee Seehamongkol, owner of Dokmai Garden

Photo: Anna Kiss

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 23, 2011 8:25 AM

    Thanks for the kind words Ketsanee and for the final photo.
    For a moment it looks like showy Buteas in flower as they do in January.
    But then on a second look the country is aflame.
    So here is the greatest challenge we eco-warriors face
    in the Thai (& Laos & Burma..) countryside today, that is
    “Ending the Burning of our Forests and Farm Lands”.

    On the issue of Corruption. Thailand’s Counter Commission website has some articles and of particular interest is one by Jeffrey Race where he argues we do not have corruption but a government system whereby officials routinely behave to enrich themselves at public expense, regarding this as a matter of right which as of old was always associated with holding an office. Please see this link for the whole story:

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