His Majesty thetowards King and the Royal Initiatives

Balancing Thailand’s Development
By Forewords by

Dr. Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD

Secretary-General, Office of the Basic Education Commission

Dr. Chinnapat Bhumirat


Translated by Sawanee Nivasabutr Edited by Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Held at SASIN Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University on Thursday, October 8th, 2009 to Commemorate the Royal Development Study Centers’ 30th Anniversary

“The Balance of Democracy Development and the Institution of the Monarchy”

A Supporting Document for the Conference on

Foreword by

Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan was in Bangkok for a special occasion – to award His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand the United Nations Development Programme’s First Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award. In presenting the award, Mr. Kofi Annan highlighted His Majesty’s countless rural development projects that benefited millions of people across Thailand by promoting small-scale agriculture, appropriate farming technologies, sustainable use of water resources, conservation, and flood and drought mitigation. He also reiterated the hope and wishes of the United Nations to further promote the invaluable lessons learnt from the Thai rural development experience and apply the sufficiency economy philosophy beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Thailand. economic crisis that engulfed the world with devastating consequences for many countries, including the advanced economies. The crisis has forced many to question the validity of the mainstream economic development theory – the so-called “Washington Consensus” – which has been the main driving ideology of the globalization process in the

In May 2006,

This was before the recent food, energy, financial and


last three decades. No doubt that globalization has many dynamic aspects and has brought benefits to many communities and countries. However, the policies promulgated in support of globalization were based on flawed assumptions – especially the supposition that interactions between individuals in open and unfettered markets will produce stable, sustainable, ethical and efficient outcomes. In contrast, what the recent experience has shown is that in unregulated markets, interactions between individuals tend to be driven by irrational “animal spirits”, as expressed by John Maynard Keynes, often resulting in market instability, excessive indebtedness, imbalances and unsustainable pattern of development. The recent crisis has also demonstrated that excessive reliance on the financial sector, where unlimited greed and risk taking is the norm, can lead to cyclical crisis and extreme imbalances.

In correcting the imbalances, therefore, serious

rethinking is needed on the correct equilibrium between the role of the State and the market and also how to reset the “moral compass” that has been lost with Washington Consensus. Equally important is how to reorient global economic growth so that it is inclusive and serves the interests of all peoples, while, at the same time, avoiding environmental destruction and the unsustainable use of the world’s resources. The Sufficiency Economy framework can serve as an alternative development path; in particular for developing countries that are still rural based and with limited knowledge and the technologies needed for sustainable use of land, water and other resources. In that respect, therefore, the publication of this book highlighting the key principles


behind Sufficiency Economy and providing specific examples of projects sponsored by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej to demonstrate how the concept works is timely and commendable. millions of people out of poverty and provided a framework for balanced and sustainable agricultural development. It has been estimated by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) that raising the average agricultural productivity of the Asia-Pacific region to that of Thailand could take over 200 million people out of poverty and reduce inequality. The lessons of the Thai model for rural development are worth considering in other developing countries. Obviously, Sufficiency Economy is not a ready-made policy prescription to be applied everywhere regardless of starting positions and cultures. Nor should it be. It is a framework for pursuing a balanced growth based on development from within and on accumulation of knowledge.

Thailand’s experience in rural development helped lift

The main thrust of the philosophy is to find ways of
engaging in a balanced manner, safely and inclusively, with a globalizing world. It emphasizes development from within, selfprotection, conservation, caution and moderation, which calls for the sustainable use of resources and concern for the social and environmental impact of economic decisions.

underemphasized during the three decades of economic growth. An obsession with shareholder returns led to riskier investments and the

These are all features that have been either missing or


promotion of global finance above the interests of the real economy and the hard-working poor. Environmental costs have on the whole been externalized so that we no longer even know the true costs of our actions in terms of their impact on ecosystems and climatic change. The world is in need of a new alternative to the inexorable appetites of consumerism driven by greed and short-term considerations. – consuming only what is sufficient; self-protection – ensuring that the economy is not vulnerable to external shocks; and, sustainability – that all economic activity should ensure environmental and social responsibility towards the planet and all its people. Sufficiency does not therefore mean self-sufficiency or cutting oneself off from the world; it means only that we should be mindful and conscientious of how we use resources, how we reward people for their labor, and how we interact with other communities and nations.

In contrast, the sufficiency economy emphasizes moderation

Some of the principles which underpin the sufficiency

economy may sound simple or based on common sense. But, looking at history, the power of some of the most profound ideas that changed the world comes from their simplicity. In a recent presentation that I made on “Sufficiency Economy in a Globalized World”, I referred to some key thinkers like Gandhi, Schumacher, Sen, Stiglitz, Sachs, among others, to demonstrate how “simple, but useful and people-oriented” ideas changed the way we see the world and organize our economies and lives.* I also cited the example of an ordinary but remarkable woman from Kenya, Wangari Maathai, who


contributed to the reforestation of her region by planting trees and encouraging others to do so. Her determination and total commitment to pursue a simple idea of planting trees and thereby reversing the deforestation process damaging the environment has inspired many, both inside and outside her country.

As many developing economies are still

largely agrarian, the un-sustainability of their agricultural sectors is most likely to imply the un-sustainability of their overall development path as well. The drive for rapid growth and the pattern of production and consumption associated with it, which also meant scant concern for the environment, have left us with some perverse outcomes and an imminent ecological crisis. To take agriculture as one example: fifty years ago, developing countries had a yearly agricultural trade surplus of US$1 billion, yet after decades of expansion of the global food production, the food deficit in the developing world has ballooned to US$11 billion a year. Yet another perverse outcome is the 2008 global food crisis, particularly the root causes of the crisis. It didn’t arise from production failure or food shortages due to bad weather or unexpected disaster, as one would have expected. To the contrary, that year food supply outstripped demand by 1.5 times. Indeed, over the last twenty years, food production has risen steadily at over 2.0 percent a year, while the rate of population growth has dropped to 1.14 percent a year. The crisis arose because of market price distortions due to excessive speculation and unscrupulous investments in food commodities, which escalated food prices thereby encouraging further speculation and imbalances in food distribution.


It could be argued that one explanation for this behavior and

the resulting imbalances and the fact that some developing countries are unlikely to meet many of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – such as halving the number of people suffering from hunger – is that the economic model that underpinned the attainment of these goals has been indifferent to the kind of values behind a sufficiency economy. These values can be the basis of a shared future together: one where we can sustainably produce and share the world’s resources; generate “inclusive growth”; encourage “development from within” while, at the same time, protecting the environment for the future generation.

development paths for post-crisis economic development. That reflection should not neglect the values and principles underpinning Sufficiency Economy. In this connection, Dr. Chirayu’s book is to be highly commended. It is a timely and valuable contribution to our understanding of the basic philosophy behind the Sufficiency Economy concept and how it works in practice. Most importantly, he demonstrates the pragmatic and practical aspects of the concept by selecting concrete examples from the numerous projects initiated and championed by His Majesty the King. These examples strengthen the case for Sufficiency Economy and its relevance for other developing countries.
* Speech to the joint session of National Legislative Assembly, Committee on Finance and Banking and Financial Institutions. Bangkok, 2007.

This is a time for reflection and rethinking on the new



Foreword by

Dr. Chinnapat Bhumirat
Secretary-General Office of the Basic Education Commission

Initiatives towards Balancing Thailand’s Development’, helps us to understand the role of the royally initiated projects in maintaining Thailand’s balanced development which are of benefit to the Thai people. changes have seen uneven distribution of wealth, environmental and natural resource imbalances, unequal urban and rural development, decline in moral values, increasing materialism and overconsumption. These problems have led to increases in crime, problems of drug addictions, increased indebtedness, corruption and general hardship of the population. deterioration in the country’s social, economic and environmental infrastructure prompted many royal addresses and initiatives to redress these imbalances. His Majesty has clearly suggested that

This book entitled ‘His Majesty the King and the Royal

Thailand’s socio-economic and environmental

His Majesty the King’s concern about this


development must first start by creating a foundation of sufficiency living for the general population. achieved through implementation of royally initiated projects by six royal development and study centers located throughout the country. Facts and figures obtained through these projects cover critical areas from public health, education, agriculture, natural resources and environmental conservation, to traffic. These centers act as ‘living museums’ of research and development, offering practical knowledge that can be utilized by the people.

This book is a compilation of lessons learned and results

The Office of the Basic Education Commission is deeply grateful to His Majesty the King’s

benevolence and thus recommends this book to be read by the country’s youth and general public, so that they may understand the value of these royally initiated projects. The book may also be used as an important reference and guide on how to undertake a development project in line with His Majesty’s initiatives. By adhering to His Majesty’s guidance, we can all contribute to alleviating our own local problems so that we may achieve balanced development and ensuring prosperity and well being for the country as a whole.


11 Introduction 12 An Overview of Thailand’s Economic and Social
Development (1946-2009) Thailand’s Development

22 His Majesty’s Approach towards Balancing 30 The Royal Development Projects 42 Six Examples of Royal Development Projects:
4.1. The Chitralada Nil Fish Project 4.2. The Flood Management for Bangkok and Metropolitan Areas Project 4.3. The Development and Promotion of the Utilization of Vetiver Grass Project 4.4. The Check Dam Project 4.5. The Royal Project 4.6. The Soil Acidity Acceleration Project

78 Conclusion

A Path to Sustainability

The Royalfounded by a group Discovery Initiative of people working Project appreciate the value of His Majesty the King’s was together who


royally initiated projects and who wish to build on His Majesty’s dedication, thus advancing Thailand’s development along a more sustainable and balanced path. Most of these development projects emanated from the six Royal Development Study Centers distributed across the country. A short history will be given explaining how and when these centers came about. An account will also be given of the royal development projects themselves and the roles they have played. The study shows that these projects have worked to help balancing Thailand’s development and benefited a great number of people. It is anticipated that this document would be useful to those who are interested in Thailand’s sustainable development. The writer wishes to thank the Chaipattana Foundation, the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Department of Land Development, the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the National Statistical Office, and the Economic Reporters Association, for their support in providing useful data. Also special thanks go to Dr. Thanwa Jitsanguan, Vice-Chancellor, Kasetsart University, and all those who have kindly offered their advice and opinions to make this publication complete.

1 An Overview of Thailand’s Economic

and Social Development (1946-2009)
For 63 beyears,continuously, comparing favorably with from 1946-2009, Thailand’s economy appeared to growing
other developing countries. Its economic and social structures changed significantly, with a tendency to move towards a greater degree of urbanization. This was brought out by Professor Nattapong Thongpakdi’s recent study on Thailand’s development, part of which is quoted here: “…Thailand has restructured its production and moved towards a more industrialized economy. Most of its products are goods which require high level skills with potential for economic growth in terms of both export and domestic production. Thailand’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) has grown very steadily compared with that of other developing countries.” One of the key changes during this period was the growth of the population, which tripled over that period from approximately 17 million in 1946 to 63 million in 2008. If we look back a little further to the time of King Rama IV in 1850, the estimated population was then only 2 to 4 million. This is a tremendous difference, compared with the current population of more than 63 million. However, population growth is not the only factor that has changed; values, attitudes, and behaviors of the population have changed significantly as well.


Population Growth from 1946-2008


1946 Population Growth Estimate, from Statistical Journal Quarterly 1969-1970. 1967-1968 Total Population, from Office of Central Civil Registration, Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior. (In Thai)

AfterEconomic implementation of the first the and Social Development Program (1961National

1966), Thailand started to witness an economic expansion, in production and export, together with changes in economic structure. From a country that relied on agriculture for most of its income, Thailand has steadily shifted towards becoming an economy with a greater emphasis on industrialization.

In 1951, Thailand’s 4.26 trillion baht, albilmliost baht. In GDP stood at 133 on 2007, the number rose to 32 times
higher. (These numbers are based on the 1988 price index, adjusted for inflation.)

National Economic Growth from 1951-2007

Note: Source:

Gross Domestic Product at 1988 Prices by Industrial Origin. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board.


increased, from 6,594 baht per year in 1951 to 64,500 baht per year in 2007, almost a ten-fold increase. (These numbers are also based on the 1988 price index, adjusted for inflation.)

Moreover, Thailand’s GDP per capita has also

Changes in Per Capita Income, 1951-2007

Note: Gross Domestic Products per capita at 1988 base year. Source: Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board.


from 23.78 million in 1986 to 5.36 million in 2007, that is from 44.90 per cent to 8.50 per cent of the total population, or a decline of more than five times.

In addition, the numbergraduallypopulation of the living below the poverty line has declined

Changes of Population Living below Poverty Line (1986-2007)


Poverty Estimation Report, 2007. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board.


below the poverty line has substantially decreased, five million people is still a large number. In addition, people living barely above the poverty line still have a tendency to call and feel themselves poor, and thus the poverty problem has not in any way disappeared from Thailand. measure the results of development quantitatively, Thailand would be considered highly successful, compared with other developing countries, which are still at the stage of trying to eliminate the poverty problem for their peoples.
The poverty line is a standard tool to measure economic poverty, using income earnings insufficient to buy enough food and basic goods necessary for living as a guide. The poverty line changes every year based on economic situations. From this definition, poor people are those whose monthly incomes fall below the poverty line. For example, the poverty line stayed at 633 baht per person per month in 1988, 953 baht per person per month in 1996, and 1,443 baht per person per month in 2007.

Although the proportion of the population living

However, if we were to use standard tools to


economic structure, including the social and environmental changes, as reported in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2007. The report identified four despite the successful GDP growth rates. These four areas are as follows:

Scholars have studied the details of Thailand’s

main areas of Thailand’s development as problems remaining to be tackled

1 Income Distribution
Normally, at an early stage of development, the income differential in developing countries would be very high, with a tendency to decline in the following stages. However, during the past 40 years, the uneven income distribution in Thailand seems to have risen. Data from the Household SocioEconomic Survey, National Statistical Office of Thailand, show that income of the top 20 per cent richest households in the country increased from 49.3 per cent in 1976 to 54.9 per cent in 2008, while the income of the bottom 20 per cent poorest households decreased from 6.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent in the same period. The poorest segment of the population consists of farmers and it is also the largest in the country.


Changes in Production Structure (1951-2007)

real GDP 1951

real GDP 2007

Service and Other Sectors 48% Industrial Sector 14% Agricultural Sector 38%

Service and Other Sectors 49% Industrial Sector 42% Agricultural Sector 9%

Note: Comparing to GDP Prices at 1988 base year By Sector between 1951 and 2007. Source: Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board.

The above figures show that income distribution in Thailand has become more uneven during the report period. In addition, the statistics show that the proportion of earnings

in the industrial sector increased 3 times while the proportion of earnings in the agricultural sector

decreased 4 times.


2 Natural Resources and

Environmental Management

With concentration on fast rates of growth, Thailand’s abundant natural resources have been exploited relentlessly, which has caused rapid depletion of soil, forest, water and mineral resources. In addition, according to the Gross Domestic Product figures by sector, earnings in the agricultural sector decreased significantly, from 38 per cent in 1952 to 9 per cent in 2007, while earnings in the industrial sector changed in the opposite direction: they increased continuously from 14 per cent to 42 per cent, while the proportion of earnings in the service sector has shown little change. The economic growth in the industrial sector and tourism has caused various pollution problems in the areas of water, air, and noise. It has also increased the quantities of toxic and other wastes, which have worsened the quality of life for the people and the community.

3 Urban and Rural Development

Expansion of big cities, especially Bangkok, has caused clusters of population who have migrated from rural areas to big cities looking for higher income jobs, thus causing gaps in economic growth between metropolitan and regional areas. In 1989, GDP in Bangkok and its vicinity increased to approximately 42 per cent of the national GDP, while the proportion of regional GDP consistently decreased in the same period. Again, these increases represent quantitative improvement changes which do not reflect qualitative changes. It is suspected that some social factors/indicators have suffered considerable decline.

4 Degenerating Social Values and Morality

In terms of economic structure, Thailand has gradually shifted from an agricultural to an industrial economy. This has also gradually transformed the country from a predominantly rural society to an urban one. The original Thai way of life has had to be adapted to a modern, fast-paced lifestyle. A competitive way of life puts pressure on people and has much impact on morality, culture, and the overall Thai way of life. Furthermore, rapid globalization has caused a higher degree of materialism and improper and careless use of modern technology such as the internet. Social values have deteriorated. Over-consumption behavior has caused problems such as crime, drugs, debt, and corruption – and the problems are tending to worsen.

Further information on Thailand’s economic changes can be found in the following: 1. Nattapong Thongpakdi, Public Economic Policies. Bangkok: Thai Pattana Daily Newspaper Co., Ltd., 2008. (in Thai) 2. Pasook Pongsepaijitr, Chris Baker, Thailand’s Economy and Politics in Bangkok Era. Bangkok: Silkworm, 2003. (Third Edition) (in Thai) 3. UNDP, Thailand Human Development Report 2007, Sufficiency Economy and Human Development. Bangkok: Keen Publishing (Thailand), 2007. (For the English version, please go to www.undp.or.th/ resources/nhdr.html)


2 His Majesty’s

Approach towards Balancing Thailand’s Development


development in question (1949-2006), His Majesty the King has thoughtfully monitored the nature of the progress and changes outlined in the previous chapter. First of all, it should be stated that His Majesty’s approach towards balancing Thailand’s development has been within his royal rights as stated in the constitution. They are the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn 2. These rights were identified by an English constitutionalist, Walter Bagehot. His Majesty, like the other constitutional monarchs around the world, follows these principles. He cannot simply order that things should be done as he pleases. His Majesty, therefore, bestows his advice and encouragement through royal speeches and addresses on different auspicious occasions to government officials and the Thai people. He warns people to monitor effects of economic and social changes, advises them about the possibilities of avoiding crises, and offers ways to improve the livelihood and well-being of the people.
From an interview with Mr. Anan Panyarachun, former Prime Minister, on the occasion of introduction of the book “The King of Thailand in World Focus”, August 23rd, 2007.

Throughout the period of Thailand’s


Excerpts from the Royal Speeches quoted below
clearly show His Majesty’s initiatives towards balancing the development of the country and the people:

…Development of the nation must be carried out in stages, starting with the laying of a foundation by ensuring that the majority of the people have their basic necessities met through the use of economic means and equipment in accordance with theoretical principles. Once a reasonably firm foundation has been laid, higher levels of economic growth and development should next be promoted. If we were to concentrate only on fast economic progress without allowing the plan of operation to harmonize with the conditions of the country and the people, an imbalance in various aspects would arise and may bring about failure in the end, as witnessed by the serious economic crises currently faced by many developed countries…
Royal address by His Majesty the King delivered at the Commencement Ceremony, Kasetsart University Auditorium, Thursday, July 18th, 1974.


…it is extremely important to encourage and help people to earn their living and support themselves with adequate means, because those who are gainfully employed and self-supporting are capable of meaningfully contributing towards higher levels of development. As regards the concept of gradual progress with caution and economy, it is to be followed if only in order to prevent failure and ensure certain and complete success; for if done without caution, it would be hard to expect any full benefit…

Royal address by His Majesty the King delivered at the Commencement Ceremony, Kasetsart University Auditorium, Friday, July 19th, 1974.


...but in order to attain such effective development, it is necessary to begin with improving the livelihood and well-being of the people, because this constitutes the essential foundation of peace, prosperity and security. If everyone lives well, peace and prosperity will certainly follow. It could be said that development entails a war against poverty, especially for the sake of the people’s well-being…
Royal address by His Majesty the King delivered at the Commencement Ceremony, Kasetsart University, Chakrabhand Pensiri Auditorium, Friday, July 26th, 1996.


…in fact, I have often said to an audience such as this one that to be a tiger is not important. The important thing for us is to have a sufficiency economy. A sufficiency economy means to have an economy where people are more self-reliant and have an adequate livelihood for themselves…
Royal speech given to the audience of well-wishers on the occasion of the Royal Birthday Anniversary, at Dusidalai Hall, Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace, on Thursday, December 4th, 1997.


…sufficiency economy is a foundation of life and the secure foundation of the country. It’s like a pile sunk underground to support the building. Buildings have to be secured by piles; however, most people can’t see the piles and even forget about their importance...
His Majesty’s remarks published by the Chaipattana Foundation.

In the last Royal Speech cited above,

His Majesty has given a very clear analogy that has made Thais turn around and wonder whether the country’s economy has in fact been laid on a secure foundation. If not, there will be problems in the future. royal speeches and addresses has also reminded us to examine a principle that a large number of economists seem to believe in – the Trickle-Down Effect. According to this principle, fast growth rates will eventually spread from the main development sectors to the impoverished sectors. However, from our experience in Thailand such an effect does not seem to be sufficient to create a balanced and secure foundation for development. An effort must be made to extend the fruits of development directly to vulnerable groups or poor people.

In addition, His Majesty’s advice as given through

imbalance of the country’s economic and social structures that will cause problems for the people and the country. The Royal Speeches quoted above are not just words or ideas; His Majesty has made them real by advising on thousands of royal development projects. By visiting different regions and seeing real situations, His Majesty has shown his commitment to help people affected by these imbalances. ..........................................................................................................
For further information on Royal Speeches and Addresses, please check: 1. Government Pension Funds. His Majesty the King’s Speeches and Addresses, 1950-2005. DVD. (in Thai) 2. Phra Dabos Foundation. Father’s Teachings. Bangkok: Bangkok Printing, 2008. (Second Edition) (in Thai)

His Majesty has thus warned Thais about the


3 The Royal Projects Development

activities3 to correct the economic and social imbalances in Thailand over a long period of more than 60 years. These projects cover all regions in the country. Their common purposes are:

His Majesty has initiated a total of 4,634 projects/

Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, fiscal years 1982-2009.

Note: Several Royal Development Projects involved only one activity and were completed within one year. On the other hand, others embraced many activities and continued over several years. The term projects/activities are thus used here.


1 To solve problems for the majority of people in the country 2 To solve problems in specific areas 3 To solve problems arising from natural disasters,
national security.

who still live in poverty and are highly vulnerable; to provide benefits freely and equally to all people without discrimination of race, religion, economic status, whether they live in remote, barren areas, or in the capital city; to build a social and economic foundation for Thai society covering the areas of public health, education, basic public utilities, agriculture, preservation of natural resources and environment (soil, water, forest and energy), also including transport problems. that might affect

which are more complicated than regular problems, mostly to assist the government in providing relief, which is urgently needed.

The royally initiated projects

can be classified into eight areas, namely water resources development, agriculture, environment, occupational development, public health, transportation and communication, social welfare, and other important projects.

Numbers of Royally Initiated Projects/Activities by Region



335 80

1,111 843




Regions Not Specified Administrative Budget

projects/activities projects/activities

Source: Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, 1982-2009.


Numbers of Royally Initiated Projects/Activities by Type
166 projects/activities (4%) 116 projects/activities (3%) 50 projects/activities (1%) 358 projects/activities (8%) 1,671 projects/ activities (35%) 614 projects/activities (13%)

1,102 projects/activities (24%) 557 projects/activities (12%)
Water Resources Development Environment Public Health Social Welfare
Source: Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, 1982-2009.

Agriculture Occupational Development Transportation and Communication Other Important Projects.


Apart from

the royally initiated projects/ activities, His Majesty the King has initiated the establishment of six Royal Development Study Centers in all regions of the country to represent different socioeconomic conditions. Each center provides a learning center in the form of “living natural museum” and a onestop service for farmers and interested parties who can thus apply the knowledge of such projects/activities for themselves. The centers, focusing on knowledge dissemination, lay a firm foundation for a self-reliant and sustainable society. The locations of the six centers are as follows:


The Geographical Distribution of Royal Development Study Centers
Huai Hong Khrai

Royal Development Study Center, Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai Province

Puparn Royal Development
Study Center, Mueang District, Sakon Nakhon Province

Huay Sai Royal Development Study Center, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province

Royal Development Study Center, Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province

Khao Hin Sorn

Kung Krabaen Bay Pikun Thong Royal Development
Study Center, Mueang District, Narathiwat Province

Royal Development Study Center, Tha Mai District, Chanthaburi Province


Royal Development Study Center

Khao Hin Sorn

Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province Established: August 8th, 1979 Mission: To gather the results of experiments, research, and

studies and to develop ways to improve the fertility of sandy soil areas allocated for agriculture; to restore and conserve natural resources; and to develop agriculture in a comprehensive manner by promoting, for instance, animal husbandry, cow and water-buffalo banks, fishery, flower and fruit farming, and co-operative management.


Pikun Thong

Royal Development Study Center

Mueang District, Narathiwat Province Established: August 18th, 1981 Mission: To conduct research and studies on peat swamp
areas for development for agricultural purposes such as in the area of improving organic and acidic soil by way of acid-cleansing treatment; to develop peat swamp areas and to conserve plants in such areas; to improve people’s livelihood through promotion of cottage industries and oil palm plantations; and to conduct joint research and experiments with the Agricultural Research Department on the processes of rubber development, fishery, animal husbandry, and the cultivation of flowers and landscaping plants.


Kung Krabaen Bay

Royal Development Study Center

Tha Mai District, Chanthaburi Province Established: December 28th, 1981 Mission: To demonstrate and conduct research and
experiments on coastal environmental conservation, shrimp farm waste water treatment, mangrove tree inventory and conservation, and integrated farming; to promote and offer training in, for example, co-operative operation and animal husbandry.



Royal Development Study Center

Mueang District, Sakon Nakhon Province Established: November 25th, 1982 Mission: To conduct research and experiments on all aspects

of agricultural development appropriate to the local areas including irrigation systems, promotion of agricultural occupation, cash crop cultivation; to study forest ecology, soil improvement, animal husbandry and fishery.


Huai Hong Khrai

Royal Development Study Center

Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai Province Established: December 11th, 1982 Mission: To conduct research and experiments to find water resources

and forest development methods suitable for the geographical conditions of the northern region, and to disseminate such knowledge to villagers who can put it into practice, thus resulting in overall economic benefits. The center’s principle concept is “The starting point is the forests (fertile upstream forests in the North), the end point is fisheries (in various reservoirs), and in between is agriculture (fruit orchards, vetiver grass planting, small farms and livestock).” This concept of development, reinforced by irrigation systems, can serve as a model for watershed areas in other regions of the country.


Royal Development Study Center

Huay Sai

Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province Established: April 5th, 1983 Mission: To conduct studies on forest development, how

forest and villagers co-exist in order to foster the people’s participation in forest preservation, restoration of damaged forests, and construction of wet-forest fire breaks; to find ways to encourage villagers to take part in forest conservation while benefiting from the forest’s abundant resources as well as their own cultivated crops.

For further information on the Royally Initiated Projects, please consult: 1. Office of the Royal Development Projects Board. History of the Royal Development Study Centers. Bangkok: Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited, 1999. (in Thai) 2. www.rdpb.go.th. Office of the Royal Development Projects Board. 3. www.kanchanapisek.com. Kanachanapisek Computer Network.


4 Six Examples of Royal Development Projects
illustrate His Majesty’s resolution and determination to solve the problems for his people. These projects have effectively alleviated the problems faced by both the people in the risk areas and the population at large. They have increased opportunities for both groups of people, who can now live a dignified life according to sufficiency principles. They are able to work and become self-reliant in an environment that is less threatening to their way of life. These six projects are:

Only six projects will be presented here as examples to

1 The Chitralada Nil Fish Project 2 The Flood Management for Bangkok
and Metropolitan Areas Project


3 The Development and Promotion of the Utilization of Vetiver Grass Project 4 The Check Dam Project 5 The Royal Project 6 The Soil Acidity Acceleration Project

1 The Chitralada Nil Fish Project

5,770 million baht.4

From an original gift of 50 Nil fish (Tilapia nilotica Linn) that came from Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace in 1965, by 2008 more than 1,500 million Chitralada Nil fish had been propagated by the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Center. They have become a basic source of food supply and a source of income for a great number of people yielding annually about The Chitralada Nil Fish Project is one example of the solution of the country’s basic nutritional problems as the fish provides an important source of protein.

Department of Fisheries, 2009.


After receiving 50 Tilapia fish as a gift from His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito, then the Crown Prince of Japan, on March 25th, 1965, His Majesty the King, realizing the high nutritional and culinary value of the fish, started research for the project in concrete ponds in the compound of the Dusit Palace. In the following year, he gave 10,000 Nil fry to the Department of Fisheries for further propagation so that the resulting mass of young Nil could later be discharged into major water beds all over the country for people to consume as well as distributed to farmers who were interested in raising them for commercial purposes because the fish has the following qualities:5

1 2 3 4 5 6

They are hardy and easy to farm. They grow fast and breed easily. They have high genetic diversity that enables them to survive in diverse environments. They thrive in Thailand’s climatic and geographical conditions. They are a cheap source of high-quality protein for Thai people. They can generate substantial income at both local and national levels.

Chitralada Nil Fish Propagation Center, Chaipattana Foundation.


Values of Nil Fish Produce 1975-2008


Fisheries Statistics Sub-Division, Policy and Planning Division, Department of Fisheries. - Development of Nil Fish Propagation. Inland Fisheries Research and Development Center, Department of Fisheries’ Publication No. 27. (in Thai) - His Majesty’s Chitralada Projects’ Publication, 1996. (in Thai)

At present, Chitralada Nil fish, an inexpensive protein source that is widely available, easy to raise, and rich in nutritional value, has become an important food source for the poor.

The Chitralada Nil Fish Project is an example of one of the projects initiated by His Majesty that can solve the “food supply” problem, which has threatened the lives of many people. The surplus can be sold to bring in more income to families, and thus also helps alleviate poverty in the country.

Management for 2 The Floodand Metropolitan Areas Bangkok
The Flood Management for Bangkok and Metropolitan Areas Project is an example of site-specific problem-solving. Floods cause damage and trouble to people living in Bangkok. For many, life savings must be spent on repairing damage done to their homes, thus putting people back in a near-poverty

situation, which in turn damages the country’s overall economy.


Bangkok experienced major floods in 1942, 1978, 1983 and 1995.

…In developing water resources, the main principle is to have good control of water, both in terms of quantity and quality. That is, if the quantity of the water is excessive, there must be a way to release it in time not to cause hardship and losses...

His Majesty the King’s address at the opening ceremony of the Third Princess Chulabhorn Science Congress, on “Water and Development: Water as Life”, at the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, on Monday, December 11th, 1995.



mitigation of emergency flood problems such as improving existing waterways, constructing dikes and new water diversion channels, and the mitigation of long-term river-basin flood problems by constructing multi-purpose dams.

His Majesty proposed guidelines both for the

…one mode of operation would be to retain the water uphil by keeping it in the dams; there are two big dams: the King’s Dam and the Queen’s Dam. This year the King’s Dam has retained 9,000 mil ion cubic meters to prevent it from coming down and flooding the plains. The Queen’s Dam retained 6,000 to 7,000 mil ion cubic meters. This is without reckoning the amount that was already retained in the dams. If it hadn’t been for these two dams, more than 20,000 mil ion cubic meters would have come down to submerge Bangkok, and what would have happened then? That is why it is a very good thing that the Prime Minister has said that the Pasak Project wil be implemented. It wil help to lighten the plight and misery of the people…
His Majesty the King’s address to an audience of well-wishers on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty’s birthday at Dusidalai Hall, Chitralada Villa, Dusit Palace, on Monday, December 4th, 1995.

The Kaem Ling (Monkey’s Cheek)KingProjorderct.solThise flprojodectproblems in Bangkok e to v o was initiated by His Majesty the in

and its vicinities. His Majesty himself explained how the scheme worked - how to allocate large pieces of land and how to excavate existing canals - in order to store a greater quantity of water during the flood season. This project is called Kaem Ling, or “monkey’s cheek”, for its ability to retain excess water to be released for later use, and to release the water into the sea during the dry season or during low tides, by applying the law of gravity and natural flow and ebb. These water-retaining areas could, at the same time, be used as water reservoirs within the overall agricultural irrigation systems. At present, there are numerous water-retaining projects in floodprone areas, such as Bangkok Kaem Ling Project, Nong Yai Kaem Ling Project in Chumphon Province, and Khlong U Taphao Floods Mitigation Project in Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province.

The Pasak Jolasid Dam

The Pasak Jolasid Dam Project was initiated by His Majesty the King; the government took up the project and constructed the Dam in 1994 and completed it in 1999. The dam can store up to 960 million cubic meters of water from the Pasak River. During the rainy season it can retain an enormous amount of water preventing it from flooding areas in Pasak and the lower Chao Phraya River Basins including Bangkok. It is vital to the irrigation system in the area and can provide water to more than a hundred thousand rai of irrigated farmland during the dry season.

Because of His Majesty’s ideas for solving flood problems and the completion of Pasak Jolasid Dam in 1999, Bangkok has never experienced any major floods since, nor does it have to bear the reparation costs that would have occurred after a flood. Trade and business in Bangkok have therefore not been affected by this problem, which has in turn benefited the country’s overall economy.

Development 3 Thethe Utilization ofand Promotion of Vetiver Grass Project
The Vetiver Grass Project is an example of utilizing a low-cost agricultural plant to solve problems in the areas most at risk of soil erosion in many regions of the country. If soil, which is a basic element in agriculture as well as other development, is of suitable quality, the people

can gain a livelihood without having to emigrate from their homeland.


The VetiverWorlGrass Project started when representatives from the d Bank were granted an audience
with His Majesty the King to report the results of Mr. Richard Grimshaw’s research on the use of vetiver grass in fighting soil erosion. After the audience, His Majesty started an experimental vetiver grass growing project in 1991. It took place variously at the Huay Sai Royal Development Study Center, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province, the Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Center, Phanom Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province, as well as at other suitable sites in other regions. The study found that vetiver grass has a root system that spreads out like a wall and penetrates deep into the soil as deep as one meter in a month and three meters in eight months. A wall of vetiver grass can slow down the velocity of water flow on the ground surface. It helps decrease water loss by up to 25-70 per cent, thus retaining soil humidity and preventing soil erosion. Furthermore, vetiver grass can absorb heavy metals and toxic substances in the soil that would otherwise be washed into and contaminate water sources. It also acts as a green wall that prevents the spread of wildfire as it remains green even in the dry season. Vetiver grass can be cultivated together with other cash crops and plants as its roots will neither interfere nor compete with other plants.

Map of Vetiver Grass Growing at Provincial Level
Vetiver Grass Growing Project (2005-2008) in Honor of His Majesty the King

Number of vetiver grass saplings Less than 1,000,000 saplings 1,000,000 – 2,000,000 saplings 2,000,000 – 4,000,000 saplings 4,000,000 – 6,000,000 saplings 6,000,000 – 8,000,000 saplings 8,000,000 – 10,000,000 saplings More than 10,000,000 saplings

Source : Office of Land Development under His Majesty’s Initiative.



…But those who have studied it realized that vetiver grass is not a weed, but rather a miracle grass that can save the country, and what you have done over the years is extremely useful, for vetiver grass can lead the country out of many kinds of danger…
His Majesty the King’s address at Piamsook Villa, Klai Kangwon Palace, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, on August 31st, 2009 to a working group of the Royally Initiated Development and Promotion of the Utilization of Vetiver Grass Project.

The royal address cited above shows His Majesty the King’s support and encouragement for those undertaking the project, which makes members of organizations in both public and private sectors as well as individuals join together in the vetiver grass growing campaign. The grass is grown widely in various types of areas such as on the back slopes and side slopes of dikes areas at risk of soil erosion, and for the purposes of soil erosion prevention and soil conservation, so that people can cultivate these types of soil and make a living from the land.

According to the statistics, the Land Development Department has from 1993 to 2009 planted more than 4,293,276,205 vetiver grass saplings covering 9,896,292 rai all over the country.6 This all stems from the modest beginnings of His Majesty’s own research conducted at the appropriate development centers. Vetiver grass can solve critical environmental problems and alleviate the hardship of people who face the risk of soil erosion. Since soil is a key resource, with cultivatable soil they have life-long security and need not leave their local homeland to earn a livelihood in other places.

Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, 2009.


4 The Check Dam Project
The Check Dam Project is an important example of an inexpensive solution to the problems of water management. The dams project allows local people to make use of the natural resources so created. They can reap wild produce from the forest, thus reducing poverty and creating a sufficiency-based

help restore the forest at the river’s origin in the north of the country. This

living for themselves.

His Majesty initiated the Check Dam Project in 1978 to help restore levels of humidity in the forest and at the origins of rivers, big and small. The small dams also serve to prevent and control wildfire. His Majesty then suggested that the Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Center should further experiment with ways to restore forests.

The origin of the check dam can be traced back to folk wisdom as an attempt to slow down the flow of a stream and to divert some part of the water via bamboo-pipelines and restore humidity to the surrounding surface on both sides of the stream. In addition, check dams help preserve the physical condition of the downstream riverbed by filtering sediments. And last but not least, check dams can be used as a barrier against forest fire.

dams that can simply be made of local materials. The second one is a semi-permanent dam, made with lined-up stone. The third one is a permanent dam, made with reinforced concrete, normally built downstream to help filter

Check dams in Thailand, as advised by His Majesty, exist in three types. The first one is the simplest – basic local

sediments and contain water during the dry season.


Today, The Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Center has built 396 large and medium check dams and more than 10,000 small check dams to ensure sufficient water supply. The results so far show that the humidity created by the check dams allows for better forest restoration. In 1984, there were 35 kinds of dipterocarp trees, with a density of 117 trees per rai, and 46 kinds of deciduous trees, with an average density of 183 trees per rai. In 1997, there started to be a crossover between these two tree families, with 81 more varieties, and an average density of 248 trees per rai.7 Between 1978 and 2006, many public and private organizations helped to raise public awareness and to realize His Majesty the King’s plans to build more check dams in order to bring forests across the country back to life. Around 110,000

Office of the Royal Development Projects Board’s Annual Report.

small dams or dikes, 5,000 semi-permanent and 2,000 permanent dams, i.e. an approximate total of 120,000 check dams have been built. Twenty-five main river basins in the country have been restored and fertility brought back to the areas. This has been an effective way to manage water resources at the origins of rivers. Thus the forests have been brought back to life, and so has water. An important and pleasing aspect of this new wave of largescale dike and dam building is that the bulk of the projects initiated and completed has been made possible by corporate social responsibility. Thanks to greater collaboration on this joint activity, the social gap between people living in the city and people in the rural areas has been reduced. While check dam projects first started in the northern part of Thailand, the awareness of their utility has spread across the country. Check dams have now been built and adapted to help restore humidity in forests in many parts of the country. With natural resources restored and protected, the lives of many people depending on them have been improved.

The check dam is one of the many royally initiated projects that use appropriate technology. It is affordable, can be built with local materials, and more importantly, it is effective. It will recreate the balance of nature, returning water and fertility to the environment and ecology and eventually to the farmers living downstream.

Check dams, built by local people, in 2006


110,000 integrated check

5,000 semi-permanent
stone check dams

2,000 permanent

reinforced concrete check dams

Approximate total check dams:120,000
Note: Photographs from His Majesty the King’s Development Ideas and Theories, Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, 2004.


5 The Royal Project
drugs, poverty problems of hill-tribe people who live in infertile areas, and deforestation partly due to the practice of slash-and-burn farming, which has greatly
damaged natural resources. The Royal Project is an example of a solution to a complex and unique problem in Thailand. These problems include border disputes,

Thanks to His Majesty’s vision, which has played a key role in co-ordinating cooperation from both public and private sectors, many of these complex problems have now been alleviated.

In 1969, His Majesty the King established and funded “The Royal Project” to help increase the feasibility of highland agriculture. His Majesty’s intention was to help Thai people living in mountain areas through job creation, opium elimination through appropriate crop substitution, and water resource restoration, which, incidentally, also affected people living in other parts of the country. In 1992, His Majesty the King set up “The Royal Project Foundation” as a legal entity with a solid and efficient management and administration.8 The success of The Royal Project Foundation would not have been possible without the efforts of H.S.H. Prince Bhisatej Rajani, a dedicated follower of His Majesty the King, who has been diligently working in the mountain areas for decades.

“His Majesty the King’s Royal Projects”. The Royal Project Foundation’s Publication, 2007. (in Thai)


Following His Majesty’s advice, the Royal Project was to find cold weather plants to grow on the mountains. Back then, besides opium, nobody knew what to plant. So we started a number of research projects, under which we conducted many experiments. Experiments entail manpower and money. As for manpower, there were many scientists specializing in agriculture who were ready to work for him. His Majesty himself made working under the Royal Project less stressful by curtailing hierarchical procedures and eliminating unnecessary red tape. Research findings from the Royal Project can now be used as findings for teaching. We no longer have to rely on textbooks written by people from other countries.
H.S.H. Prince Bhisatej Rajani


research centers and 38 Royal Project Development Centers in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, and Lamphun, working to develop appropriate plants and animal breeds for each specific area, to transfer knowledge to local farmers, and to help restore natural resources. More than 350 kinds of plants, vegetables and fruits have been developed.

Currently, the Royal Project Foundation has four


Morel-thanes 30,000urban areas,orhave joined theeRoyal uProject,farmersngfrom families 150,000 peopl , incl ding thirteen hi trib and coveri an
area of 150,000 rai. With a better management system and a more systematic budget allocation, more than 450 mil ion baht return to these farmers each year. On average, each household is making 70,000 baht annually, which is more than ten times that earned from growing and selling opium.9 In the future, the Royal Project Foundation wil work closely with the Highland Research and Development Institute (Public Organization)10 in researching, developing, and improving plant species and new technology. In addition, they are also developing new marketing schemes for both domestic and international markets to promote highland agricultural products. Last but not least, it has been successful in promoting tourism in the northern part of Thailand, which has enhanced the sustainable development and security of the region.

Under His Majesty’s leadership and with his vision, many of the social and economic problems have been alleviated. Remote areas which were once deserted and difficult to revive are no longer so. With the high level of achievement in alleviating these problems, the Royal Project was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding in 1988 and the Colo11mbo Plan Award from the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) in 2003 for being the sole organization in the world to have effectively solved the problem of opium growing by offering hil -tribes a viable alternative to opium.
9 His Majesty’s Royal Projects, Royal Project Foundation’s Publication, 2007. 10

Highland Research and Development Institute (Public Organization) established by Royal Decree, 2005, to support the work of the Royal Project and to improve Ratchaphruek Park to become an international study center for plants and vegetation, enhancing bio-diversity, as well as a tourist attraction. 11 DAP is a US-supported organization to help solving illegal drug problems in the Asia Pacific Region.


6 The Soil Acidity Acceleration Project
poverty and border disputes that arise when these farmers cannot make a living at home. What the Project does is to “trick” the soil, by making the soil even more acidic, and then rinsing the acidity away with water so that the area can be used for agriculture.

farmers living in the area with uncultivable acid soil, but also threatens national security through

The Soil Acidity Acceleration Project is one of the attempts aimed at solving a location-specific problem that not only affects the lives of the

The Project is located in peat swamp forests in Narathiwat Province in the far south of Thailand.


Source: The Chaipattana Foundation Journal, April 1999.

It was His Majesty the King’s idea to solve the acid soil problem by increasing its acidity. In 1981, he ordered a test to be conducted at the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center in the South.

The Pikun Thong Royal Development Center adopted the Soil Acidity Acceleration Project for various peat swamp forests, especially in Ban Khok It and Ban Khok Nai in Tak Bai District, Narathiwat Province. Formerly farmers in these areas could harvest 5-10 tanks (1 tank = 20 litres) of rice per rai. After the Project implementation, the number rose to 32 tanks per rai in the first season. And in 2006, farmers were able to harvest up to around 41-50 tanks per rai. The result was very satisfying.


The Soil Acidity Acceleration Project is also being applied in Nakhon Nayok Province in the central region, where acidity in the soil is also found. Water from Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam, one of the royally initiated projects, is used to help stabilize the underground water level, to help add moisture to the soil and to prevent sulfuric acid from coming back to ruin it. By using water to rinse away the acid and by adding marl, the problem of acidic soil is being effectively solved.

The Soil Acidity Acceleration Project gives back life to land that is non-productive and infertile due to acidity. These areas of land can now be used to grow crops and rice. More money is being earned by many farmers who were once in a state of poverty.


Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s
Role in Supporting His Majesty the King’s Initiatives in Balanced Development
In addition to various royally initiated projects of His Majesty the King that aim at developing agriculture and basic infrastructure for a better living standard of the people, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, who has always been at His Majesty the King’s side when he visits troubled areas, also supports His Majesty’s ideas by improving public health, making education accessible, creating supplementary occupations that fit the skills of the people, as well as safeguarding the forests and environment. Her efforts have been recognized worldwide with the result that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations presented to her the prestigious Ceres Medal on May 11th, 2009 for her sacrifice and dedication in improving the lives of women and people living in rural areas.

It is worth mentioning here the citation by the United States’ Congress given in 1995.
Her deep concern for the welfare of the Thai people is matched by her knowledge of their needs. Her husband, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has made it his admirable policy to “visit the people”, spending more than half of each year traveling around Thailand... Accompanying him on his trips, the Queen witnessed at first hand the hardships of rural life, the damage to forests, wildlife and water supplies caused by primitive farming practices and the threat posed by modernization to traditional Thai arts and crafts. It was her inspiration to, in effect, capitalize culture, to train farm families in producing handicrafts which could be sold to bring in regular income. Since 1978, Queen Sirikit’s SUPPORT Foundation has trained 30,000 such families in crafts ranging from ceramics to silk-weaving to bamboo basketry. In 1982, the Queen initiated the Forest-Loves-Water project, to demonstrate that SUPPORT handicrafts projects could encourage reforestation. At Ban Mae Tam village, the rich teak forests once threatened by illegal logging are being replaced. Villagers able to earn a living from cottage industries do not need to rely on tree-cutting or slash-and-burn farming for subsistence. Under her gentle leadership, through encouragement and practical training, 12 solutions are being found to pressing environmental problems.

US Congressional Record. Thursday, May 18th, 1995. Vol. 141.


Concluding Remarks about

His Majesty the King’s Role in Creating More Balance in Thailand’s Development
From the speeches made by His Majesty the King, quoted above, and from the examples of the six royal development projects from all over the country, it is abundantly clear that


Programme summarizes the qualities of his efforts to alleviate such problems in the following way:

His Majesty has paid great attention to the problems of imbalanced development. The United Nations Development

He serves as scientist, philosopher, advocate, and exemplar. He offers an example of outstanding leadership that might be unique, but is still an inspiration 13 from which the world can learn.

These qualities can be elaborated as follows:
Thailand Human Development Report 2007, UNDP.


He is a scientist.

He experiments and develops solutions. When he succeeds, he forwards what he has learned and advises various Royal Development Study Centers to carry out the projects.

He is a philosopher.

He advocates the philosophy of sufficiency economy as a way for the Thai people to lead a satisfying and fulfilling life as well as a guide for Thailand’s development in general.

He is an advocate.

He believes that his theories as proved can be of benefit to others, and he spreads his ideas and findings. His words are simple and easy to understand because he wishes to see that his people can adopt and adapt the ideas to improve their lives through various projects set up throughout the country.

He is a good practitioner.

He travels to different parts of the country, no matter how rural or remote, to see how people live. These visits allow him to see the real problems faced by local people. He develops and promotes appropriate and practical solutions to solve or alleviate these problems, and insists on regular follow-ups.

He is an exemplary leader.

Under his guidance and leadership, people from different organizations come to work together cooperatively.

Thai officials and Thai people from all walks of life are inspired by His Majesty’s example and knowledge to join him in creating a more balanced path for Thailand’s development.


His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

The first UNDP Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award May 26th, 2006

The coin minted by the Royal Thai Mint in commemoration of the occasion that the United Nations Development Programme presented the first UNDP Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty the King in 2006.


For further information on the Royal Development Projects, please consult: 1. Research and Analysis on Fisheries Statistics Group, Information Center, Department of Fisheries. (in Thai) 2. “Farmers Smile at Government’s Support of Nil Fish Export” Thai Rath Newspaper, Saturday, August 29th, 2009, page 8. (in Thai) 3. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board. Vetiver Grass, Natural Living Wall. (in Thai) 4. “His Majesty the King is pleased with vetiver grass, the wonder grass”. Daily News Newspaper, Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009, page 1. (in Thai) 5. Government Pension Fund. Royal Speeches and Addresses, 1950-2005. Bangkok: Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited, 2007. (in Thai) 6. Pradab Kladkempetch. Check Dams Manual. Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Center, Office of Irrigation 1, Royal Irrigation Department, 2006. (in Thai) 7. Pradab Kladkempetch. Check Dams: Types of Damage and How to Correct Them. Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Center, Office of Irrigation 1, Royal Irrigation Department, 2006. (in Thai) 8. Fisheries Statistics Sub-Division, Policy and Planning Division, Department of Fisheries. (in Thai) 9. “His Majesty the King’s Royal Projects”. The Royal Project Foundation’s Publication, 2007. (in Thai) 10. Development of Nil Fish Propagation. Inland Fisheries Research and Development Center, Department of Fisheries’ Publication No. 27. (in Thai) 11. The 5th Assembly of Science and Technology for Development. Water Resource Management of Thailand. Department of Science and Technology, January 10th-12th, 2006. (in Thai) 12. Chitralada Nil Fish Propagation Center, Chaipattana Foundation. 13. Huay Sai Royal Development Study Center. Vetiver Grass Growing Technique, and How to Improve Compacted Soil Areas for Cultivation. (in Thai) 14. National Archives of Thailand. The Developer King and His Gracious Care for the People’s Well-being. Bangkok: Daoreuk Communications Co., Ltd., 2008. (in Thai) 15. His Majesty’s Chitralada Projects’ Publication, 1996. (in Thai) 16. Amnuay Chotiyarnwong. Fisheries Products Analysis. Department of Fisheries Products, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University. (in Thai)




A Path to Sustainability
would have been more severe in degree without His Majesty’s efforts to recommend, warn, and encourage Thai people through his speeches and addresses, as well as through the royally initiated projects. However, imbalances still exist. Moreover, with constant changes in the world, new problems do occur. There is also a tendency for the tension between old problems and new problems to worsen. Therefore, we have to be

The problem of imbalanced development that has taken place in Thailand

Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Center

conscious and careful in undertaking our activities towards creating a balanced development. We also have to be ready for changes that may come in different guises such as the economy, society, environment, and culture. We should not take a numerically high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of our country’s well-being, while at the same time neglecting other, non-economic, immeasurable values. If we focus only on GDP, we risk losing the mindset that enables us to analyze with sound reasons, with moderation, and with sufficient shields against temptation. As His Majesty the King once said, the Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Center as well as other

Royal Development Study Centers, act as a “natural living museum”, where we can continuously learn how to combat new and approaching problems such as climate change and the energy crisis, which will inevitably have impacts on Thailand’s economy and society. It is everyone’s duty to join forces to cope with these problems, assessing the impacts, and searching for solutions early on before the former become severely detrimental. One good existing example is the Royal Initiative Discovery Project. The Project aims at developing further His Majesty the King’s valuable ideas accumulated in the various development centers. The Project’s goals aim to create one million projects/activities, growing trees on eight million rai of

land to celebrate His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday and Her Majesty the Queen’s 80th birthday. It is hoped that the Project will significantly help reduce the problem of imbalanced development. All moral support should go out to those who are working on further applying His Majesty’s wisdom such as in the project to propagate sufficiency economy principles in schools. The project aims to lay a solid ground for sustainable development by making young students more conscious of the way they lead their lives. Many school teachers and administrators alike are integrating the philosophy into their curricula to mould young people who are both “academically intelligent” and “morally good”. Another project that attracts much attention now is called MOSO, or Moderation Society, which showcases model lifestyles of many important and well-known people. The project aims at inspiring a new generation through the demonstration effect to create a society that pays more attention to the philosophy of sufficiency economy.

When more hands are joined together, more energy and resources pooled, when old and new knowledge obtained both from the royally initiated projects and from first-hand experience are integrated, the result should be that the Thai people, and especially Thai youth, will confidently step forward and continue along a path that will lead to sustainable well-being for themselves and for the country.

Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya
Born Birthplace November 12th, 1942 Bangkok

Education General Certificate of Education, King’s College School, Wimbledon, England. 1960 1964 B.Sc.(Econ.), Hons., London School of Economics, University of London, England. 1971 Ph.D. (Econ.), School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Some Previous and Present Positions 1971 Lecturer, School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA). 1975 Assistant Professor, SDE, NIDA. 1979 Associate Professor, SDE, NIDA. 1976-1979 Dean, SDE, NIDA. 1981-1985 Deputy Minister of Industry. 1985-1986 Minister of Industry. 1986-1987 Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. 1987-Present Director-General, Crown Property Bureau and Grand Chamberlain, Bureau of the Royal Household.


Other Positions Chairman Siam Cement PCL. Director Siam Commercial Bank PCL. Positions in other institutions, foundations, etc. Chairman National Institute of Development Administration Council. Member Thailand Development Research Institute Council. Member The Chaipattana Foundation Board. Treasurer The Foundation of the Promotion of Supplementry Occupations and Related Techniques of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand. Secretary-General The Sai Jai Thai Foundation. Secretary-General The Royal Project Foundation.


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Royal Initiative
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