Whilst formerly widespread in Central Thailand, the populartity of rice-fish culture began to be replaced by more profitable agricultural technologies from the early 1970's. These technologies are of limited applicability in Northeast Thailand, where rice-fish culture began to spread in the early 1980s, following rapid declines in traditional wild fish sources. NGOs were among the first to notice its increasing popularity and to bring it to the attention of several government agencies. Subsequently, on-farm, farmer managed trials by the Department of Agriculture helped to confirm the viability of the practice, and to bring it to the attention of policy-makers. Considering these results and their own experiences, the Department of Fisheries has assigned a high priority to the extension of rice-fish culture in Northeast Thailand. The Department of Agriculture Extension is also involved in extending the practice there and elsewhere. Research efforts continue to address factors limiting the adoption and productivity of the technology. Major extension efforts are expected to continue. The relationship between government and non-government agencies is largely informal. Some examples of contacts which have been mutually beneficial are given, and possible ways of strengthening institutional linkages are discussed. Most are open to debate, but all relate to improved communications, be it in style, content or frequency.
2. The role of intergovernmental and nongovernmental international agencies in conservation and rural development is contrasted with the role of governments. The inseparable relationship between conservation and development provides the only basis for the long-term success of either activity. Governments are advised to pay attention to the concept of ecodevelopment, in which provision is made for meeting basic needs, and achieving self-reliance within a context of ecological sustainability.