The Suffiency Economy Philosophy in Thailand, new case study of the Inclusive Cities Observatory

The Suffiency Economy Philosophy in Thailand

The Inclusive Cities Observatory is a space for analysis and reflection on local social inclusion policies managed by the Committee on Social Inclusion of UCLG. Among this case studies, the Committee presents a study based on the experience of  the "Suffiency Economy Philosophy” (SEP) approach, in Non Sila Leng (Thailand), where a  Buddhism based philosophy has been  implemented by the King of Thailand as an alternative to the dominant development.

The case study realized at the Development Planning Unit, University College London, the United Kingdom, informs us about the objectives of The "Suffiency Economy Philosophy” (SEP) which target is to foster sustainable development through the integration of the physical, social and spiritual dimensions.

In the case of Non Sila Leng (Thailand), the SEP has been institutionalized through setting up the village co-operative and a rice mill. These institutions are recognized by the formal economy and the local administration.  The model for participation clearly comes from the way the Buddhist temple is run:  individuals periodically engage in collective endeavors in order to live and demonstrate the principles of SEP. The leader and the villagers engage in a horizontal relationship rather than a hierarchical one.

Globally, SEP is a practice supporting the financial and productive autonomy of the village community, while developing an environmentally sustainable economy and including all members of the community in the production and management.

The beneficiaries are the village population, but the policy also involves a network of surrounding villages, and by this reason the co-operative based at Non Sila Leng currently has 2135 members

Through the production of the rice mill, agricultural production also reaches a national and international market. Emphasis is placed on the collective management of the production process and on an ethic of sharing and compassion. Participation is rooted in the collective management of the co-operative, the rice mill and the cattle bank.

For further information, see full case: Inclusive Cities Observatory

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