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New planting site in Trat

 

Project Location

Trat province is in the eastern part of Thailand and borders Cambodia to the east of the province. Wang Pla Mor, the forest restoration site is located in Tha Som and Khao Saming District. The land for tree planting is State’s land dedicated to environmental development and conservation under control of Irrigation Department.

The communities around the area have set up the “Community Forest Conservation Group” to conserve and reforest the area in Wang Pla Mor, however with little budget they lack the means to conduct meaningful projects and thus seek the cooperation of NGO partners. PATT Foundation highlighted a need to habitat restoration and Environmental education within this area, to hopefully expand the areas of native forest and reverse the current trend of habitat degradation. Additional social benefits from this project include providing employment opportunities for local people.

Project Aims and Methodology used by PATT Foundation

The central aim of the proposed projects is essentially to reforest unproductive land at various locations around Thailand. In particular we have highlighted a number of locations that would benefit from environmental restoration work. This may be to provide increased habitat for wildlife, prevent erosion or to increase local access to forest products.

Aims of PATT Foundations Projects:

  • Regenerate a degraded area with native trees
  • Rebuild a natural forest by planting trees suitable to the area
  • Restore biodiversity to the immediate area by providing a habitat for native animals
  • Regenerate and secure topsoil
  • Take action against climate change – trees absorb carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, from our atmosphere and store the carbon while releasing oxygen. Forests act as carbon sinks and one tree can store between 500kg – 1 tonne of CO2 over its lifetime
  • Participate with the communities in environmental activities.
  • Provide improvements to the livelihoods of the local communities.

Long Term Benefits

Overall the implementation of reforestation projects will increase the amount of natural forest. Globally this has great significance to issues such as climate change. Around 20% of all global carbon emissions come from deforestation. Implementing reforestation projects is one such way to address the global carbon crisis. The long terms benefits of reforestation also positively impact the local people and communities through the promotion of their conservation activities.

For example in areas that have undergone environmental restoration there is typically the option for communities to generate extra income from selling traditional products generated from the forest and also developing the restoration site for eco-tourism. The forests also provide useful locations for schools and students to visit; they will use the sites as learning centres or outdoor classrooms.

All supporting companies will be given the opportunity to establish a connection with the project and to revisit the area in the future to monitor its success, volunteer to assist with upkeep and maintenance.

Forest Restoration Methodology

PATT Foundation aims to implement forest restoration projects that provide multiple benefits, primarily to establish quality habitat for wildlife, increase biodiversity and sequester carbon dioxide. PATT Foundation works closely with the Forestry Research & Restoration Unit FORRU (Chiang Mai University). FORRU have undertaken groundbreaking research on the best methods to restore native forests in Thailand. As such we follow their framework species method of forest restoration. This involves the planting 20-30 indigenous tree species specially selected for their ability to rapidly shade out weeds and attract seed-dispersing wildlife.

Birds and mammals, attracted to the plots, bring with them the seeds of many other forest trees and thus help to re-establish a species-rich forest tree community similar to that of the original forest. Planted trees restore forest structure, whilst the animals attracted to them restore biodiversity.

Seedlings are typically propagated in a nursery within close proximity to the planting site and existing forest cover. Seeds are selected from any nearby forest for germination within the nursery. This ensures only species locally adapted to the conditions of the planting site will be grown.

Furthermore when selecting a site to undergo restoration we try to maximize its potential benefit to the environment. For example using remote sensing techniques we can select site locations that will provide linkages between existing forests and therefore will create important wildlife corridors.