A project to honor His Majesty the King to study the development of the Royal Project community to be a low-carbon and sustainable community


The Royal Project community can develop low-carbon and sustainable highland communities by creating community development standards that emphasize low-carbon and sustainable practices. These standards can be used as a benchmark for all communities in the area to strive for and can help to ensure that the Royal Project community is well-equipped to lead the way in creating a healthier, more sustainable environment.

          Currently, the communities living in the Royal Project areas have adopted agricultural practices based on an understanding of the soil and water conservation system. Farmers can improve their quality of life by ceasing to grow opium and instead taking part in the garden restoration and conservation of watershed forests. The Royal Project Foundation's goal is to bring about positive, holistic change in the Royal Project Development Center region, with an emphasis on socio-economic and environmental improvements. In order to ensure long-term sustainability and to be a learning center for the development of highland areas, the Royal Project Foundation has implemented programs to help farmers transition away from growing opium and instead focus on more sustainable practices, and pursuing a career that relies on expertise in many different areas, leading to an improved quality of life. This included the rehabilitation of such watershed forests.

However, now there are important external factors such as climate variability or global warming that affect plant growth and productivity as well as the quality of the soil and water shortage. The Royal Project will be used as a model for developing low-carbon communities in the highlands, as well as being a learning center for rural community development. This initiative will help the community in the Royal Project to transition into a low-carbon community in the next phase, which will provide long-term sustainability and ensure that it is a sustainable community in the future.

          Therefore, it is essential to shift the focus from green development to decreasing carbon emissions, with everyone's participation and the principles of a low-carbon society and sufficiency economy in mind, so that the Royal Project community can grow in a balanced way and be capable of adapting to various changes, ultimately leading to sustainability. The project has the following objectives:

(1) To study and develop a model for low-carbon and sustainable highland communities.

(2) To assess the Royal Project community in the context of a low-carbon and sustainable community.

(3) To develop and elevate the Royal Project community to become a model for low-carbon and sustainable highland communities.

          By creating a development standard for the Royal Project community to use as a guideline for developing a model for a low-carbon and sustainable highland community that is the same standard. The application of EDFR (Delphi Ethnographic Delphi Futures Research) techniques has enabled the development of community standards in the highlands that are both low-carbon and sustainable, taking into consideration the economic, social, and environmental dimensions. This has been further divided into four distinct areas, which are

(1) environmentally friendly agriculture.

(2) Forest restoration and conservation.

(3) Environmental management in the community.

(4) The strength of the communities in supporting change can be.

         Assessed by the 19 items, 32 indicators used in the study and evaluation of 11 Royal Project communities, 12 communities that are further classified into 3 categories depending on the social landscape of the highlands, such as Pa Miang community rice-growing communities and communities dependent on opium cultivation. The findings of the research indicated that the Royal Project communities could serve as role models for other highland villages in the future. Out of the twelve areas studied, eleven achieved certifications for their low-carbon and sustainable highland community development, with eleven being deemed as "excellent" and one as "very good".

          Besides, the research team studied the energy consumption of the 12 Royal Project communities in 2016, and discovered that the emissions of carbon dioxide per person yearly primarily came from the fossil fuel used in transportation and traveling. Biomass energy utilized in everyday life was the next largest contributor, while electricity usage yielded the least amount of carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon dioxide released by the Royal Project communities was lower than the national average for Thailand.

          The investigation into the consequences of enhancing and refining the communal development endeavors of the Royal Project revealed that people from the community and associated organizations cooperate to create initiatives that would lessen greenhouse gas emissions and impede them from being discharged into the atmosphere on a continual basis. As a result, community members enjoy a more desirable lifestyle and security. It helps to conserve natural resources and the environment, reduce pollution and impacts that will occur on the world in the future and help the community to build a reputation and income from being a low-carbon society.  However, activities that need to be expedited include promoting thrifty water use among farmers, upgrading livestock farms to the necessary highland standards, enhancing the community's waste disposal process, and encouraging households to install wastewater treatment systems or livestock farms before releasing them into the environment.

          There are also books to disseminate knowledge, namely

(1) Low-carbon and sustainable community development. A case study of the Royal Project community in the highlands, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University.

(2)  Handbook for low-carbon and sustainable highland community development. Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University.

(3)  Sustainable low-carbon community development: A study based on a royal project for highland community development in Thailand. 


1) Royal Project Foundation

2) Highland Research and Development Institute (Public Organization)

3) Royal Project Community

Associate Professor Dr. Kampanad Bhaktikul
Mr. Wathanyu Waenprom, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna