Thailand is a country rich in bio-resources. It has a long history of accumulating wisdom in utilizing its biodiversity, particularly regarding the use of herbal food and medicine, and the use of microorganisms to ferment food. This offers opportunities to improve the quality of life of people and to increase the country’s economic value by utilizing bio-resources.
For the rural areas, many are turning into manufacturing areas to prepare for economic expansion. Problems in the rural areas affect all parts of society. They face problems of poverty, resource depletion and a shortage of knowledge that will help increase capability and improve the quality of life. In particular, there is a lack of science and technology learning processes and scientific and technological knowledge.
The Bio-resources, Communities and the Underprivileged Cluster aims to utilize science and technology to improve the quality of life, to utilize resources in an efficient and sustainable manner, to study, explore and improve local wisdom and to conduct R&D work and transfer the knowledge to and from communities. There are 2 research programs:
The Technology for Rural Development Program
The program aims to increase communites’ learning capabilities, improve vocational knowledge by upgrading products in terms of quantity and quality and create auxiliary and new vocations that are suitable to the community. Key operation plans include:
1. Using technology to promote vocational growth and sustainably managed community resources, i.e. using technology to support vocations, restore and sustainably utilize community resources.
2. Promoting science and technology learning in schools and supporting community enterprises so that they can be an important part in building community strength.
The Bio-resources Program
The program aims to create knowledge and local bio-resource management capability, to develop techniques and tools to conserve and restore bio-resources, and reduce the impact of global warming on local biodiversity while adding economic and social value to bio-resources. Key operation plans include:
1. Acquiring new knowledge relating to the ecosystem such as varieties, life cycles, varieties that are beneficial to man, the environment and the ecosystem.
2. Developing tools for conserving, restoring and reducing the impact of global warming on wildlife and the ecosystem such as biological indicators/warnings, restoring forests/carbon-capturing wildlife and managing endangered plant and animal species.
3. Utilizing bio-resources for economic and social purposes such as high-value substances, enzymes for the agricultural and health industries and developing industrial production and screening processes.