Cover Story

His weathered hands, marked with deep lines and prominent veins, swept through the air, a finger pointing towards the endless cornfields lining the mountain slopes around us. Where corn now grows, he told us, was once the forest he spent over a decade creating. Dr. Samart Sumanochitraporn, fondly nicknamed Mr. Can Do, was only 25 when he was assigned to the Water Source Protection Unit in Doi Sam Muen in response to an order issued by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The denuded mountains, which spread across Chiang Dao District in Chiang Mai to Pai District in Mae Hong Son, was, on his arrival half a century ago, blanketed with opium fields. Now, at the age of 71, memories of working side by side with the King are still vivid in his mind. Having followed His Majesty’s advice … Continued

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