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© Jittrapon Kaicome for WWF Thailand

The Forest Landscape Restoration Fund (FLR349) Social Return on Investment (SROI) Evaluation Report

Maize farming is among the major drivers of deforestation and deterioration of the ecosystem in Mae Chaem district, Chiang Mai province. In addition, to prepare the land for cultivation in the next planting season, many smallholder maize farmers choose to adopt the method of open burning of agricultural residues, which consequently leads to problems of heavy haze pollution. A number of initiatives have been launched in Mae Chaem district with the ultimate goals of preventing deforestation, ensuring long-term sustainability of forest watersheds and food systems. The “Forest Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Agriculture Project” is among these initiatives in Mae Chaem district. This project has been piloted in Baan Thub and Kong Kaek subdistricts in Mae Chaem district. Under this project, farmers are advised to shift from chemical-intensive farming practices to sustainable farming practices under the “Three Forests, Four Benefits” principle. It promotes a diversity of income sources and production modes as a sustainable strategy to secure economic needs, community livelihoods and most importantly, freedom from a fractured food supply chain. The main objective of this research project is to calculate the social return on investment (SROI) for this “Forest Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Agriculture Project”.

Results from the analysis show that the present value of benefits from this project is 176,954,579.83 Thai baht, while the present value of the investment in this project is 20,944,832.85 Thai baht. Therefore, the social return on investment from this project is 8.367, i.e. for every 1 Thai baht invested in the “Forest Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Agriculture Project”, it generates the social benefits of 8.367 Thai baht.