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The objective of this study was to develop the Learn to Make an Informed Environmental Decision Model (L-Informed ED Model) by means of action research with the participation of community-based tourism (CBT) in Thailand. Fifteen members from the CBT group from a community of Nong Mae Na (a province in Thailand) voluntarily engaged in two cycles of self-designed action to solve the socio-ecological problems that the community was encountering. Data collected through participant observation unveiled that the nature of the participants’ learning to use information as a basis for their environmental decisions and actions that were incremental, associative and active, social and real-life oriented. A synthesis of the action study helped to develop the L-Informed ED Model, which comprised of five steps including synergizing cooperation to treat collective socio-ecological problems, assessing the actual environmental situations with newly acquired information, planning and implementing management guidelines for some selected problems, comprehensively appraising the local environmental carrying capacity and putting in use a proactive management plan. The model held efficacy in supporting the community to use empirical information in addressing local problems, and making it readily adaptive in coping with constant changes on its own.
Keywords: adaptation, community empowerment, environment, tourism
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