Thailand's renaissance monarch

August 2005
Ecos;Aug/Sep2005, Issue 126, p18
Blog Entry
The article reports that Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, has converted his chief residence, Chitralada Villa in Dusit Palace, central Bangkok, into an experimental farm, demonstration forest and showcase of sustainable agriculture and technology. King Bhumibol's belief in sustainable development directly reflects a deep interest in helping less well-off Thais to benefit from innovative technology. For example, the severe countrywide drought suffered by Thailand in early 2005 has turned the King's attention to artificial rainmaking. An internationally acknowledged expert, he has devised a method of cloud seeding, with special chemicals and dry ice which has drawn worldwide attention. Besides artificial rainmaking, patented royal inventions include a new type of floating mechanical aerator for ponds and waterways, and engineering to produce "biodiesel" fuel from agricultural waste. The Plant Genetic Conservation Project and the associated Germplasm Database Centre and Herbarium play important roles today in the collection, identification and experimentation of plant genetic data.


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