About this project
The New Land project is a sister project to Tacomepai with the aim to revitalize 72,000 square meters of deforested and degraded land by applying permaculture design principles. The mission of the project is to demonstrate and reintroduce sustainable living techniques to the locals, and to create a prototype for reforestation and sustainable livelihood projects all over the world.
Who are we?
Tacomepai is a traditional Thai organic permaculture farm in the Mae Hong Son province of Northern Thailand. The farm focuses on sustainable and traditional Thai natural farming methods that embody permaculture principles. It also promotes interactions with international eco-travelers and the local community to ultimately protect and care for nature.
Sandot, the founder of Tacomepai inherited the farmland from his family 20 years ago, but unlike other local farmers, he has resisted the push for modern methods of farming and chemical usage on his crops. Instead, he implements natural sustainable and traditional Thai methods of farming, and invites travelers and locals to learn and work with him.
For more information please visit: http://www.tacomepai.com
Why are we doing this?
Once a completely lush and green part of Thailand, this area is now being threatened each year by slash and burn farming. Land is continually cleared for monoculture and the implementation and use of harsh chemicals which is typical for that form of agricultural practice. (Those chemicals end up in the food we're consuming).
Deforestation is imposing a serious threat to the global climate, to the water cycle, to the soil, to biodiversity, and to the livelihoods of the many subsistence farmers. This is where our inspiration to use permaculture design comes in for "The New Land" project.
Where are we now?
The New Land project began in 2008. With the help from international volunteers, who have purchased this plot of land. Previously the land had been used for commercial farming, withstanding years of unsustainable farming practices.
We have implemented methods to improve the water quality and to increase soil fertility through dam building, tree planting and preventing forest fires, but due to limited funds and human resources, we could not work full time on the land.
We have also experienced a large setback as the house originally constructed for volunteers was destroyed this year due to a forest fire, which was caused by the burning process that the farmers use.
Now, more than ever, we are eager to get this project going.
Since June 2012, Bank - a passionate Thai environmental activist, is the project manager of the New Land. Bank runs a sustainable farm in Chiang Mai called Sangob (sangobcm.blogspot.com) - meaning peace in Thai, and has experiences about traditional farming and permaculture. Bank has already secured 10,000 trees from the PUR project to be planted at the New Land.
We are planning to build a learning center for both locals, visitors, and volunteers to come to learn about sustainable farming practices as well as how to live a simpler life on this earth. The center will include a classroom, kitchen, information space, and a communal area.
Our plan is to build a learning center similar to the one already on the Tacomepai Farm (look as the picture above). This center will be a traditional Thai style building made up of mostly bamboo and wood harvested in a sustainable manner. Building learning center with these materials is both sustainable, cost effective and keeps with traditional Thai culture.
Example of Traditional Thai Building Methods
The learning center is essential to our mission to reconnect people with nature and to re-educate the new generation on how to live a more sustainable life.
Your funding will go towards:
Most of the money (about $2000) will be used for building the learning center. We will use locally sourced materials and traditional methods in construction.
Another $2000 will be the annual wage for one local who will be maintaining and developing the land, planting the rice fields, gardens, and the forest.
The rest (approximately $1000) will be for purchasing plants, building materials and live stock.
Please join the New Land!
At the end of the day, if we want to live on a healthier planet, we have to start somewhere, and we believe that We The Trees will present a good opportunity for individuals around the world to be involved. We hope that the New Land project will provide inspirations to start similar projects in your own country, and meanwhile, please give us your hand to show that you care about this planet.
Donations on We The Trees are most welcome, but it does not end there. If you can join the Tacomepai team at the New Land here in Thailand, we welcome you to come get involved as a volunteer or internship.
As Sandot says, “The New Land is Everybody’s Land. Everyone living on this planet directly or indirectly benefits from more forest. It’s nobody’s land, it’s OUR LAND.”
So the New Land is Your Land! The community at Tacomepai is waiting for you to get involved. We aim to touch people all over the world, from all different walks of life.