Biodiversity Sustainable Agriculture Food Sovereignty Action Thailand (BioThai Foundation)
BioThai Foundation was founded through a collaboration between social activists, farmers, academics, government officials and the people of rural communities who shared a common understanding on important issues, problems and proposals related to conservation, development and use of biological resources, local wisdom, community rights, food security and food sovereignty, agriculture, sustainable development and fair trade.
Their name was coined in 1995 as a short form of the Thai Network on Community Rights and Biodiversity which was made up of individuals who worked on issue of biodiversity and local wisdom in Thailand. Initially, their work focussed on analysis and dissemination to the Thai public of the text of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, lobbying for laws to regulate genetic resources and Thai traditional medicinal knowledge, organizing international meetings and linking with international networks to push for legislation on farmers’ and communities’ rights to biodiversity in developing countries, as well as campaigning to raise awareness of genetic resource grabbing by transnational companies and industrialised countries.
In 1999, BioThai was established as an organisation to support the work of the network. At this time, they were called Biodiversity and Community Rights Action Thailand.
As the work expanded, further long-term support was needed to provide information, research, etc, to groups of farmers, local communities, and the networks working on these issues. The organisation was formally registered as a Foundation in 2006 under the name BioThai Foundation, (“มูลนิธิชีววิถี” in Thai). While they still follow their original focus on biodiversity and community rights, in recent years, their work has also expanded to a much broader set of issues including food security, monitoring agribusiness corporations, and fair trade, amongst other related topics.
More importantly, in 2010 they have started new campaign namely “Food For Change” to mobilize consumers to engage in sustainable food system development.
In 2014, they adjusted their full name in line with the scope of their current work to “Biodiversity - Sustainable Agriculture - Food Sovereignty Action Thailand”
to study and research critical issues related to biological resources, agriculture, food, farmers’ and community rights;
to promote and disseminate knowledge related to biological resources, agriculture, food, farmers and community rights to the Thai public; and
to make recommendations and develop public policies related to the management of natural resources, economic development, and culture, towards sustainable social development.See more