Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lanna Community Life Network - People's Action for Change

Thank you for accepting our request for a dialogue with you on the issues regarding our concerns of the highly critical situation of our global climate crisis. We recognize this as an issue that undeniably requires urgent action globally, as well as locally, here in Chiang Mai.

Firstly, we would like to express our grave concerns about the slow process of negotiations between nations- as well as the insufficient commitment made by all nations in addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. It has been recognized that major industrialized countries, such as the US, Japan and the UK, have a significantly enhanced responsibility for the depletion of global natural resources and the emissions of GHGs.  However, these same states have not demonstrated their recognition of, nor made sufficient and rapid enough commitments to, the necessary steps that are required to tackle this crisis situation. This can only be achieved when these wealthy and powerful states seriously commit to the act of significantly reducing their own consumption of natural resources, as well as drastically cutting their emissions of GHGs.

People around the world are no longer waiting for these powerful nations to come up with intergovernmental agreements- but have been taking action locally, committing our selves to slowing the destructive process of global warming. We, a group of individuals who are concerned about the global climate crisis as well as the worsening environmental situation in this region, together with other groups and friends in Chiang Mai, have been active in raising more awareness among people in Chiang Mai and the world. The local action carried out last year during the Copenhagen Climate Conference was one of them.

We expect and request the consulate, as a representative of its government, to show its commitment in taking responsibility for this situation, which will also contribute to a healthier environment here in Chiang Mai. We are also here to express our contention that all personnel working at the consulate, seen as representatives of our respective countries as well as highly influential individuals living in Chiang Mai, to join us and contribute to lessening the effects of global warming and the environmental degradation currently occurring in our city.  

We would like to introduce the commitments made by other organizations and individuals including the Ministry of Energy, Chiang Mai’s Mayor, a number of area schools including faculties and students, etc. through the “People’s Pledge”. The “People’s Pledge” is conceived based on the concept of the campaign- 10:10.  10:10 inspires and supports people and organizations to cut their carbon emissions by 10% per year. Any individual, family, business or organization can make the commitment. 10:10 was initially launched as a UK campaign on the 1st of September 2009. Since then, the campaign has expanded and currently 113,031have been signed up in 186 countries. (for more information: ) One of the 10:10 global campaigners, Lizzie Gillett congratulates Chiang Mai as the 1st Green Eco City in South East Asia:

We also would like to ask each and every member of the personnel of the consulate to sign on to the “People’s Pledge” and to pro-actively implement it in her/his daily life.
We believe the consulate has an even greater responsibility and capacity than to just implement the “People’s Pledge” and so propose adding the following actions to the “people’s Pledge” to be adopted by the consulate as the “Chiang Mai Consulate Pledge”.
These actions include:

  • Publicize the consulate’s official mandate with regards to the state policy and measures to address climate change through its website, links to other websites and any other occasions;
  • Ensure all consulate sponsored programs, projects and activities will be ecologically responsible;
  • Conduct carbon audits of all consulate activities and publish the results regularly;
  • Propose and promote the low-carbon development model at all consulate-sponsored events;
  • Provide any available financial and/or other forms of support to the civil society in Chiang Mai in order to increase awareness on environmentally sound and sustainable development.

We also expect the consulates to act in the role of a ‘model’- as institutions in Chiang Mai, in contributing to a healthier environment and a more sustainable level of development through increasing their accountability and promoting cooperation with civil society.

We look forward to meeting you and discussing our proposal further on 15 December, 2011.  

Alex Putnam
Caroline Marsh-Subkaew 
Dave Arthurs
Oliver Hargreave
Punika Shinawatra
Russell Kirk Hollis
Steve Green
Tomoko Kashiwazaki
members of Lanna Community Life Network (LCLN)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mahākād Art Festival - Epic Arts in the Market

To mark the 100 year anniverary celebrations of Chiang Mai’s historical Warorot Market, known locally as Kad Luang. Internationally acclaimed Thai artist and Chiang Mai native, Navin Rawanchaikul has initiated a first of its kind community‐based arts festival namely the “Mahākād”. In collaboration with various guest artists and community groups, reflected in its multi‐cultural title that references the ancient Indian epic, Mahābhārata, this festival aims to promote awareness of the local identities and their unique cultures. Incorporating newly conceived artworks by Navin Production Studio and an associated exhibition presenting a faithfully preserved and documented history of Chiang Mai’s past. In reflection a contemporary photographer will create a visual dialogue between the senior photographers and insights collected from youth workshops with local government schools a universities.

Festival Dates: December 25, 2010 – February 6th 2011 (daily 9am – 6pm, free admission)
Kad Luang market place
within walking distance to the surrounding neighborhood (detailed map of all project sites will be provided)
Mahākād Festival Information Centre at Luang Anusarnsunthorn Residence (The WhiteBuilding), at the eastside junction of Narawat Bridge opposite Buddhastan (Buddhist Association) on Thapae Road. Here you can pick up walking tour map of all the exhibition venues. (closed Mondays)

For Festival information, general inquiries please contact;
comments: ...Thank-you again with my friend Sophie and my daugther Manon we also enjoyed visiting the Mahakad Festival. Thank you for giving us the informations... It was really interesting to explore this market. Susanne

Monday, November 1, 2010

Indigenous People of Lanna - Northern Thailand

Over the last two centuries northern Thailand has become home to many indigenous hill - tribal groups migrating across the vast mountainous borders between China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and India. Political and economic unrest has bought these people here with many having harrowing stories to tell of perilous journeys made by families to reach Thailand with the majority settling into the remote hills of northern Thailand.
There establishing communities based on traditional agricultural practices that have hardly changed over a thousand years. Instantly recognisable from local Thai communities by their colourful costumes and an unique way of life of animism and spiritualism religious beliefs, unique cultures, traditional customs and lifestyles.

Relatively more recent activity by the many christian missions and to follow later NGO's ( non governmental organisations) and varied international government agencies now based in the region means many changes have come to the people with both positive and negative aspects being played out.
They are traditonally a proud hard working people whom we can learn many valuable ' Life lessons'. Their knowledge to a more simple, sustainable existence by their beliefs, sense of community and organic farming practices to be at peace and in harmony with our planet.
Whilst in Chiang Mai also visit the Tribal Museum out on Chotana Road which houses detailed documentation on the many different groups either indigenous locally or regionally to Lanna (northern Thailand)

This article was first published in the regional travel magazine South East Asia Back-Packer Magazine Nov2010-Jan 2011

Caroline Marsh is co-founder of Chiang Mai based independent ethical tour operator .."Expertise, Ethical travel and Authentic Experiences contribute to making a difference to local communities and the environment." passionate about new experiences, travel and environmental well being she writes for travel sites and coordinates local 'grassroots' community peoples actions for a better future for all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1# Green Eco City in South East Asia!

photo credit: Oliver Hargreave
photo credit: Kirk Hollis

On the 10th of October 2010 (10:10:10) was a ground breaking day for all the community of Chiang Mai City, the capital of the Lanna people in the 8 provinces of the far north region of Thailand.

Joining with other capital cities around the globe such as Paris, France; Mexico City and Lisbon, Chiang Mai signed up and became the first Green Eco City in South East Asia to join a global movement for every individual, school, business and organisation to pro actively cut their carbon use by 10% each year starting 10:10:10.

On 10:10:10 Day of Doing 7,347 actions in more than 191 countries around the globe spear headed by and came together to make a bold statement to question our society, our values and our commitment to cooperating together to forge a better society and a better future. 10:10 global director Lizzie Gillett (producer of the internationally acclaimed environmental film Age of Stupid) recorded a live message direct from their London head office welcoming Chiang Mai to the global initiated movement. Check out this link for the low carbon event, Chiang Mai Car Free day 2010 with more than 1600 cyclists taking part.
Chiang Mai's elected Mayor Tassanai was the first to sign for Chiang Mai's elected local government to commit to a 'peoples pledge' that has 30 pro active culturally sensitive actions that will guarantee the city's environmental and economic sustainable well being.Promoting organic markets, alternative building practices, emissions reductions by more bicycle use, traditional samlors and walking within the famed cultural heart of the historical 700 years old moated city.

The city is now committed to recycling, composting and disposal of hazardous waste, public transportation with renewable cleaner and greener energies and the hopeful re introduction of ancient Lanna laws to govern wisely over the city's and the people's precious resources.

With more than 10,000 people pledged to date
including Princess Chao Duong Deun Na Chiang Mai of the Lanna Royal family with students and their committed teachers leading the way!

Local enviromentally aware tour operators, hotel businesses, central government organisations such as the heads of regional health, energy and environmental ministries, regional NGO's aswell as the Chiang Mai director of the T.A. T. (Tourism Authority of Thailand that have all shown great initiative, foresight and cooperation to voluntarily sign up to the 'peoples pledge' showing that a bottom to top community 'grassroots' peoples action initiated by an umbrella network group NCCN is an effective sustainable way forward to protect this unique capital city, unique culture and unique region of the Lanna people.

Caroline Marsh is co-founder of Chiang Mai based independent ethical tour operator .."Expertise, Ethical travel and Authentic Experiences contribute to making a difference to local communities and the environment." passionate about new experiences and travel; preaches and teaches community environmental well being; Caroline writes for travel sites, regional magazines, her own blog -AuthenticChiangMai; coordinates local 'grassroots' community peoples actions through HEUSP (Holistic Environment Urban Schools Program) and a member of the umbrella network group Lanna Community Life Network (LCLN) which has grown out of NCCN

 *you tube channel 'by holisticearth1'