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May 2012 Summary Report – PATT Six Senses Reforestation Project

 

Summary of Main Tasks completed in May 2012

The Project continued intensive efforts to identify forest restoration sites in the north of Thailand and in other regions. Discussions were held with representatives of potential planting sites at Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Loei, and Trat.

To date, while no formal agreements have been signed, negotiations for reforesting 160 rai of land at the Nong Hoi Royal Project, Chiang Mai could be concluded in early June.

Assessment is continuing for 350 rai at the Pai River Wildlife Sanctuary, Mae Hong Son.

The Department of Defense has agreed to explore providing land for reforestation in Phrao and Samoeng Districts, Chiang Mai with joint reconnaissance in early June.

The original Wawee site has been ruled out due to objections put forward by the Sheriff (kamnan) of Wawee Subdistrict. Feasibility for an alternative site in Wawee is still being investigated.

The Loei, Phu Kradeung Site has been found unsuitable because the logistical challenges could not be met under the current Six Senses budget.

Several thousand rai in Trat have been recommended by the Provincial Governor. Follow up is ongoing to explore possible planting in 2013 and thereafter.

Following training provided for local villagers and Project staff by FORRU, a site appraisal to determine tree survival and maturation was conducted at the Doi Pha Maa PATT Six Senses reforestation site in midMay. Survival average is 80%, but lower on rocky and heavily grassed areas.

Preparations are in place to begin re-planting seedlings which have died at the Doi Pha Maa reforestation site. Surviving seedlings will also be ring weeded and fertilized.

Tree seedlings prepared by the Project nursery in Mae Taeng, Track of the Tiger and FORRU, (the latter having been contracted by the Project to provide seedlings 2012) are all in excellent condition. They will be ready for re-planting at Doi Pha Maa, and plantation development and the 2012 planting sites.

Training was provided for children and youth from communities participating in the Doi Pha Maa reforestation on the ecological value of forests in terms of impacts on hydrology, biodiversity, and climate, (including ameliorative impacts on climate change); and for adults on sustainable management of community development funds.

A participatory review of experience based on lessons learned on forest fire management in 2011 was conducted in conjunction with staff of the Sri Lanna National Park, with plans laid for improving fire management in subsequent years. National Parks Fire Protection Unit staff were duly impressed with the results of villagers’ diligent fire prevention and suppression efforts.

Work in progress

Several types of organic fertilizer are being tested at the Mae Taeng Nursery to determine which will be selected for use by the Project in 2012.

Doi Pha Maa will be re-planted, weeded and fertilized starting around 12 June when reliable monsoon rainfall seems likely to continue.

To enhance perception of forest value in the eyes of local communities, a study is being prepared on the commercial value of non-timber forest products obtained from species being planted by the project, and other species that could be considered for enriching the plantation sites in the future. A booklet will be prepared to raise awareness among local communities regarding the value of forests for life and livelihood.

It is expected that all reforestation sites for planting in 2012 will be finalized in June, with an eye toward completing site preparation and planting in July.

Seedlings from FORRU and Track of the Tiger will be transported either directly to the 2012 plantation site(s), or for temporary storage at the PATT Six Senses Mae Taeng nursery.

Prominent issues

The Department of Defense, which proposes several planting areas in Chiang Mai, has sometimes been coercive in expelling farmers from forest areas that have been encroached for crop cultivation.

Planned Action: Prior to selecting any of these areas for reforestation, the Project will be meticulous in determining that the proposed areas are free of land use conflicts.

Next Steps

Final site identification and agreements to develop plantations in 2012.

Training of villagers in new plantation areas on FORRU reforestation methodology and rationale.

Site clearance and planting.

MAY 2012

This is the summary report for the PATT Six Senses Reforestation Project for May 2012. The Report provides an outline of major tasks conducted during the month, progress made, and emerging issues. Site Reconnaissance and Selection of 2012 Plantation Site
Considerable effort during May 2012 has been focused on identifying reforestation sites leading to agreements to plant. Substantial progress has been made, but there has also been an unexpected setback.

Chiang Mai, Nong Hoi Royal Project Site

In conjunction with FORRU, a meeting was conducted at the Nong Hoi Royal Project site to explore potential for the PATT Six Senses Project to contribute to the Royal Project’s aim of improving forest cover. Mr. Phubet Muangmoon, Head of the Nong Hoi Royal Project, expressed his support for the PATT Six Senses Project to reforest a steeply sloping area of 160 rai. We will pursue the Nong Hoi site vigorously because of its relatively close location to Chiang Mai, and the potential public relations advantages that planting this site
will provide for the donor, and PATT. (For more information on this site, please refer to: http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/chiangmai/2011/11/09/mon-cham-restaurant-and-camping-in-mae-rim