Mae Fah Luang Foundation

The Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF), founded in 1972 by Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra (mother of King Rama VIII and King Rama IX of Thailand), is a Thai not-for-profit organization working in sustainable development to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life of people regardless of race, religion and gender. We believe in a people-centric development approach with an end vision to empower people to be resilient and self-reliant, enabling them to carry on sustainable development on their own; while fostering co-existence between humans and nature. The Foundation has several implemented development projects in Thailand and abroad—Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Indonesia—with the Doi Tung Development Project (DTDP) in northern Thailand being its model project.

The Doi Tung Development Project was established in 1988 on Doi Tung, a mountain in Chiang Rai province, covering approximately 150 square kilometers which was once a secluded area in the heart of the Golden Triangle—the world’s largest opium-producing region at the time. Recognizing that the root causes of opium cultivation and related problems were poverty and lack of opportunity, the Princess Srinagarindra decided to improve the conditions of Doi Tung, socially, economically, and environmentally, by introducing legitimate livelihood alternatives. These ranged from reforestation jobs, economic crop cultivation, horticulture, handicrafts, and hospitality, all based upon local wisdom and the capacity of the community, with an emphasis on a value adding process and zero-waste management.