Model Forests are based on a flexible approach to landscape and ecosystem management that combines the social, environmental and economic needs of local communities with the long-term sustainability of large landscapes in which forests are an important feature. By design, they are broad-based initiatives linking a broad mix of stakeholders and sectors and other values and interests within a given landscape. The Ngao Model Forest has been a member of the International Model Forest Network for more than 10 years. Family income in the region is derived principally from agriculture, where non-timber forest products (NFTPs) play an important role in the subsistence economy. However, at one point, the community forests became so degraded that they could not longer be effectively used by the communities. The Model Forest promoted the improvement of livelihoods through bamboo and medicinal plant cultivation, edible insect farming, and community engagement in forest management. Through the work of the Model Forest, the communities were once again able to derive multiple benefits from their local forests.
Ngao Model Forest, Northern Thailand