Watershed forests in Mae Kon, Chiang Rai

This is the source of one of the 35 tributaries that flow into the Mekong River, one of Southeast Asia’s major waterways. This is an area of great biodiversity, but in the past 20 years, monoculture has replaced traditional farming practices and put tremendous stress on the environment. Forests have been cleared. Unregulated use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers has poisoned the soil and groundwater. The environmental impact has been vast and virtually immediate, especially in farming areas and community forests located near the national forest reserve.