This picture was taken on the northern flank of Doi Suthep; it is very pretty with the sillouettes and the road and what not, but it is a misleading beauty.
The truth is that these trees should be surrounded by others and you should be able to see very little sky at all. The surrounding trees have been cleared for lynchee orchards and agriculrural use.
Now. This is a complex problem. We are inside the National Park here and so technically there should be no agricultural development here at all. The problem has arisen because when the park was demarcated there was no acknowledgement of the villages which were already inside the boundary. Without recognition there was thus no way of monitoring any expansion of agricultural landuse. The numbers of people in the villages has grown; the amount of land they farm has also grown. All at the expense of precious jungle.
What should be done?
There are two opposite camps: One group says cut down every tree on the mounatain and use the whole lot as farmland. The other says murder all the people living in the park and use their blood as fertiliser for the replanted trees.
(For those of you hyperboley challenged; that was a joke)
The answer is obviously in compromise. It probably begins with a conversation which might lead on to a dialogue and then who knows; a discussion.
It is just something to be aware of; a local environmental issue that is replayed across much of Northern Thailand and that should be addressed if people are serious about protecting the fragmented patches of nature that provides us with so much.