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Soneva Project

Location: Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, Thailand
Donor: Soneva
Date: 28th July 2013
No. of trees planted: 480,912 Trees

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  • reforestation
  • community development
  • increase habitat for wildlife
  • combat climate change

In 2011 and 2012, PATT and Soneva planted a total of 449,000 trees, as well as operated after care and fire control. The sites are (1) Doi Pha Mah in Sri Lanna National Park, Chiang Mai (2) Nong Hoi, which is part of the Royal Project, in Chiang Mai (3) Pang Ma Pha in Mae Hong Son and (4) Thom Lod in Mae Hong Son.

Project Overview


Realising the significant contribution that deforestation and habitat degradation have to climate change, Soneva acted upon its strong commitment to responsible business practices and committed itself to plant more than 400,000 trees in Northern Thailand.

Following its SLOW LIFE philosophy (Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wellness Learning Inspiring-Fun-Experience) all of Soneva’s resorts have set aside 0.5% of the total revenue to a Social and Environmental Responsibility Fund for community and conservation projects locally and globally while another 2% of the room revenue are dedicate to the Carbon Sense Fund to be invested in projects that combine real reductions in carbon emisisons with deep social benefits.

The charitable organization of the Soneva GroupThe Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust – not only raises money for programmes including the Carbon Senses Fund, Clean Water Projects, Care for Children in China and Restaurants Against Hunger, but also teamed up with the Plant a Tree Today (PATT) Foundation in August 2011 to establish a Forest Restoration Project in Northern Thailand.

Soneva recognised the importance of forest restoration projects because deforestation and habitat degradation are significant contributing factors to climate change. Not only can forests remove carbon from the atmosphere and are effective long terms options for carbon sequestration, but if well managed forests can also replace lost habitat to improve biodiversity and provide social economic support for communities.

In collaboration with the Forestry Research & Restoration Unit (FORRU) at Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Soneva’s project was designed around a strict framework for forest restoration which involves the planting of 20 to 30 indigenous tree species selected for their ability to rapidly shade out weeds and attract seed-dispersing wildlife. At the same time birds and mammals, attracted to the plots, help to re-establish a species-rich forest tree community similar to that of the original forest because of the seeds they carry from other forests. Thus, the planted trees restore the forest structure, whilst the animals attracted to them restore its biodiversity.

As a result of Soneva’s comitment to biodiversity conservation and habitat restoration 138,000 trees were planted by PATT Foundation at their first site Doi Pha Mah in Sri Lanna National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2011.

By July 2012, they have already planted 71,000 trees at their second site Nong Hoi, which is part of The Royal Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand. An additional 220,000 trees will follow in 2012 mitigating an estimated 320,000 tons of CO2.

Soneva’s renewed commitment to leading the fight against climate change within the tourism sector highlights that the Soneva Group is not only a world leading luxury resort operator but also that it is a true leader and pioneer whoshares the Zeitz Foundation’s drive to support sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible initiatives and who recognizes that collaborative approaches and actions enhance the possibility of achieving a future in which human actions are sustainable and just.

This project is supported by: