Mae Lao River is the 150 Km. long river in Chiang Rai Province northern part of Thailand. The river flows through 5 districts and covers over 400 communities. In 1984, a mining company came into the headwater of the river area and cut down lots of trees. The result was increased landslides and runoff. The water cannot be used because it has changed to a red colour. Because of this, groups of villages have come together to talk and share ideas about how to solve these problems.
In 2005, they established Mae Lao River Headwater Conservation Network to carry out conservation activities in the area. These activities include reforestation projects, building a checked dam, making firebreaks etc. However, the budget they have is not enough because the area that they cover after is very big. However, despite the lack of money many villages still carry out these activities.
If there are volunteers who come to help them and also support their budget, the project and activities will be more sustainable.