Sustainable community environmental management based on social capital and cultural capital of the Karen community in Ban Huai Pong Lao, Mae Ki sub-district, Khun Yuam district, Mae Hong Son province

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Suwit Khongsong
Ariya Poorahong


The research aimed to 1) Study the context of social capital and cultural capital of the community 2) Study the community environmental management under the context of social capital and cultural capital of the community. It was Qualitative Research, consisting of data analysis and field survey through in-depth interview, focus group, and participant and non-participant observation. The key informants included 31 network committee members, leaders, civil society, the elderly, government officials, community outsiders, and local residents. The tools included semi-structured and unstructured interviews and data analysis according to the Qualitative Research. The research findings revealed the following: 1. In terms of social capital and cultural capital of the community in Ban Huai Pong Lao, it was a very abundant community, with peaceful and simple ways of life, and high level of love and unity among community residents. Moreover, community leaders had potential, community members held religious belief with regular religious practices, network with other communities, eco-system management based on local wisdom and belief, use of local wisdom for hand-woven cotton clothes since the ancient times, bond with nature, and rituals were accompanied by traditional beliefs 2. Sustainable community environmental management based on social capital and cultural capital of the community in Ban Huai Pong Lao principally practiced subsistence economy by relying on beliefs, culture, and traditions that were linked and connected with nature and the environment with respect, for example, water source management based on local wisdom, rice cultivation and cattle raising as supplementary occupation to generate income, and outstanding “peaceful and happy” village based on the Sufficiency Economy at the provincial level.

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Author Biography

Suwit Khongsong, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) (Education and Social Development), Master of Arts Program in Social Development (M.A.) National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) ,Bachelor of Arts Program in Sociology and Anthropology (B.A.) Ramkamhaeng University


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