Posts Tagged ‘ Sustainable ’

Home-Stay Experience- Back to the nature :)

October 2011

It was flooding in Bangkok during our Preparatory course; one of the worst cases Thailand had seen. Since, Fk Preparatory courses mandatorily need the participants to stay at local homes for at least two nights, our course organizers at AIT were in awe to find homes because of the flooding incidents. The purpose of home-stay in the preparatory course is to make the participants have the experience of living in the worst situation with minimal facilities; exposed to foreign food, foreign culture with minimal or nil English. All participants had to stay with a Thai family and would not be allowed to contact other participants during the period. I had heard earlier participants complaining that the home-stay experience during the prep course was tougher than their whole stay in their respective host countries.
Now, the usual villages for the home-stay were flooded, our organizers selected a village in Chochaengsao Province for our home-stay experience; only this time all it was not a home we were heading to and all the participants were going to be together. 🙂 So, all the participants got into two vans as we travelled to Chocheangsao Province. It was an amazing drive as we left the concrete Bangkok behind and into the green Thai Countryside. Wanakaset learning Center situated at Sanam Chaiket Chaochengsao is actually the name of the agro-forest and a network of agroforest practitioners . So, we were heading into a forest, private but still a forest. When we arrived there, we were awestruck. As we moved inside the forest, through a narrow track, we could see a modest bamboo hut perched into the wild and a stream flowing right below it. So perfectly in harmony with nature!
As we dropped our bags and looked around we saw that this was more like a camp, with two spaces to sleep (no doors or barred windows); all built with bamboo sticks and the amazing stream flowing right below you. Mosquitoes were there and we were warned about the leeches but well it was all part of this broad “into the wild” experience. The owner then welcomed us and briefed us on the basic rules. We were supposed to cook in shifts, there would be local help and we had to do our own dishes. We were also requested not to use our shampoo, soap, detergents and even toothpaste and were provided with more organic, non-foaming, eco-friendly alternatives. We were then shown around the land; the huge expanse where many tress, herbs and crops of ecological and medicinal values were conserved sustainably. Later in the evening, we were briefed by the owner and introduced to the story behind Wanakaset. Wanakaset actually means “forest agriculture” and it also refers to the farming concept which goes beyond agricultural production to look at self-sufficiency and the relationship between man and his natural environment and resources. The idea was practiced and preached by Pooyai Viboon Khemchalerm. A farmer by profession, he had been attracted to the cash crop production and chemical farming and its preliminary gains once upon a time only to be plunged into loss of fertilityof his land and severe debts. Then, he had accepted and submitted to the power of nature. He had then switched to sustainable farming practices or Wanakaset. The current owner, his son is also abiding by his father’s doctrine “if you take care of the nature, nature will take care of you.” A simple, yet vital idea! An inspiration for all! Continue reading

“Green Economy: Does it include YOU?” – The best WED theme ever

5th June 2012

Today, UNEP is celebrating World Environment day with the theme “Green Economy: Does it include YOU?” With Rio +20 just around the corner “Green Economy “ has been hanging on every environment website, related agendas,  news, blogs, programs and proposals for months now and UNEP’s WED theme just drove it home, into our skin.

If we look closely, the words “Green” and “Economy” have been conflicting with each other, ever since mankind woke up from its deep ignorant sleep, one fine morning of industrial age and realized that it has been messing up with earth all the while. Since then, the world has been divided into two schools of thoughts: one who believes in “economic development at all costs” and the other who believes “earth is being trashed up for economy. “  Developers didn’t want to compromise with development and kept on trashing the earth while the latter kept holding placards of “sustainable development” to stop reckless development but helplessly watched the deteriorating tragedy of earth.

And then the recession around the world changed it all. Because the recession made the developers think of the flaws and constraints of the economic model and made them think why the model for reckless economic development failed. And the answer had been there all the while in the placards; the economy failed because it was not sustainable. The economy failed because the environment and sustainable issues had been disregarded from the economic development. Then, the two words which had been conflicting for decades were brought together as “Green Economy”. Continue reading