Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC (CPF) recently welcomed Grade-9 and Grade-11 students from Concordian International School (CIS) as well as their teachers and parents to Lop Buri province.
They, about 40 people altogether, joined CPF’s forest conservation and rehabilitation activities at CPF Rak Nives at Phraya Doen Thong Mountain Project and follow the nature trail. Welcoming them to the site were Mr. Tanompong Sungthoop, Senior Forestry Operation Forest Resource Management Bureau 5th Rayal Forestry Department and Phraya Doen Thong Project Chief ; and Mr Sutee Smudraprabhud, Assistant Vice President of CPF's Corporate Sustainable Development Office
According to the honorary guides, Mr. Tanompong and Mr. Sutee, the forest rehabilitation project shows fruitful results thanks to the collaboration between the Royal Forest Department, CPF and neighbouring communities. All parties have lent a hand in turning the degraded forest to a forest that boats the biodiversity of plants and animals. Four innovative reforestation techniques have been applied including the creation of water and food sources for animals, which has attracted animals to the area. CPF Rak Nives Project at Phraya Doen Thong Mountain today serves as a model for reforestation and conservation as well as a learning centre for the general public.
For this visit to the “nature classroom”, officers from the Royal Forest Department and CPF taught CIS students about meticulous tree growing techniques. Proved to be new to them, the techniques started from the recommended size of planting holes, which should be 30cm wide, 30cm long, and 30cm deep. The holes should be floored with fertilizer-mixed soil before placing the selected seedling. After the seedling is covered with more soil, the grower should tie it with a bamboo stick just to prevent it from strong wind. Cover the plant again with straws and write a number tag. The students then learnt how to monitor and record the plant’s data, so that they can compare with the data from following years.
The students were then put into 3 groups and they dug holes themselves for 200 seedlings on a 1-rai area. Selected for the activity were Hopea odorata, Burmese Padauk, rosewood and White meranti which grow well in the area. Despite bright sunlight, the students were cooled down by the breeze and successfully completed their first mission, under the close watch of forest and CPF officers.
The students took pride in accomplishing the task as the 200 seedlings were part of 4,000 seedlings donated to their school by MQDC and taken care of by their fellow students in Seed of Hope Club. These seedlings had been nurtured for a year before they were planted, to ensure survival. All the healthy seedlings were then donated to Phraya Doen Thong Mountain Project and planted to add green space and help absorb carbon dioxide in support of climate actions.
Next, the students joined the Seed Ball activity, to fire clay lumps containing seeds and fertilizers which helps spread natural seeds.
“I have so much fun and am glad to take part in forest conservation,” said Sirinya Hirunviriya, Palmy, a Grade-11 student who is the president of Seed of Hope Club. “I learnt the right way to grow trees and want to invite all to grow trees. We are haunted by global warming because of deforestation. Reforestation will help absorb CO2 and this is one of the best things to ease global warming.”
“I’m happy to get out here to enjoy the nature and take care of the environment,” said Ramita Sriausadawutkul or Proud , a Grade-9 student who planted 7 trees. “I urge all to give importance to the nature. People today spend a lot of time on technology but they should not neglect the nature which has given us so many things. By growing a tree, we are giving the nature something in return.”
Established by Varnnee Chearavanont Ross, Concordian International School aims to give their students new experiences. Joining the tree planting activity, students were expected to learn new knowledge on reforestation outside the classroom while having a good time with their family members. The activity was also expected to raise awareness on nature among the youth as the future guardians of nature.
CPF Rak Nives at Phraya Doen Thong Mountain Project is a joint project of the Royal Forest Department, CPF and neighbouring communities. It was kicked start in 2016 and after years it has conserved, rehabilitated and grown trees on 6,971 rai of land, serving as a role model in forest rehabilitation for other areas in Thailand. It is a learning center for interested organizations, public and private, as well as educational institutes. Visitors have included Shell Company of Thailand, Banpu PLC, B Grimm, Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus, Lopburi College of Agriculture and Technology, and SMART-I CAMP participants.