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The Importance of Forest

Forests are of great importance to the conservation of ecosystem and biodiversity

Forests act as watershed regions and supply us with basic necessities. They are key feature of food security for the world population. If the forest loses its balance, it would pose great impact on food source which would eventually affect socio-economic development.
The Situation
53% of the country’s land area. 31.6% of the country’s land area. Thailand’s forested area has continually decreased. In 1961, 53% of the land area was covered by forest at an area of 171 million rai (approximately 27.4 million hectares) but in 2015 just 102 million rai (16.3 million hectares) or 31.6% of the country’s land area remained. Deforestation impacts the well-being of the population. It contributes to more frequent and more severe natural disasters, impacting the nation’s overall socio-economic system.
The watershed forest at Phraya Doen Thong mountain in Phattana Nikhom District, Lopburi Province was designated permanent forest estate following the cabinet resolution on 14 November 1961. In the past, Phraya Doen Thong mountain was a forest rich in biodiversity and was the water source on which a variety of animals depended on. However, with the expansion of human settlements and the need for agricultural land, forest at Phraya Doen Thong mountain had been destroyed. Big and high-value trees had all been cut. At present, the area is densely covered by shrubs, vines, and weeds – making it difficult to be restored naturally. It is therefore very important to rehabilitate and conserve forest at Phraya Doen Thong mountain in order to accelerate its full recovery.
The Commitment
In collabouration with Royal Forest Department, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization), the Biodiversity-based Economy Development Office (Public Organization), and the civil society, CPF launched CPF Rak Ni-Ves at Phraya Doen Thong Mountain Project as part of the Phraya Doen Thong Mountain Project to establish “the Learning Center in celebrations of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's 60 Birthday Anniversary, in Lopburi Province. The project will cover the area of 5,971 rai (955 hectares) following the five-year strategic plan during 2016-2020. This is to support the government’s policy on forest conservation and to continue CPF’s environmental sustainability “Balance of Nature” mission to contribute to the conservation and restoration of national strategic forests from upstream to midstream and downstream under the concept “From Mountain to Mangrove – Protecting Biodiversity”.
The project has five objectives as followed:
  • To conserve and restore Pasak watershed forest at Phraya Doen Thong mountain towards the full recovery and the expansion of the watershed forest
  • To monitor and assess the impact on increasing biodiversity of wild fauna and flora (compared to the baseline at the start of the project)
  • To contribute to mitigating global warming and climate change from carbon absorption and ecosystem services of the forest
  • To turn the forest into the source of food, natural medicine, and timber for communities – creating jobs and generating income among people in the surrounding communities
  • To develop the forest into the nation’s model learning center for forest conservation and restoration.
From Commitment to Collabouration
1. Royal Forest Department
Select sites for conservation and restoration, provide knowledge on techniques for selecting tree species, planting, and monitoring of new crops. The roles also include monitoring and evaluating achievement of the project objectives as well as reporting the progress.
2. Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization)
Provide support and advice on climate change issues.
3. Biodiversity-based Economy Development Office (Public Organization)
Provide support and advice on biodiversity.
4. Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited
Provide support, collabourate in the conservation and restoration, monitor and evaluate achievement of the project objectives in the areas and according to approaches set by the Royal Forest Department. The role also includes appropriate dissemination of information regarding the progress of the project.
Conservation and restoration Approach
Comprehensive Reforestation
is the approach used in the area where forest is too severely denuded that it would take a very long time for the nature to regenerate by itself. This approach also requires the area to be easily accessible as it requires comprehensive care from planting and monitoring of the newly planted seedlings. The approach minimally requires natural factors. The survival rate is high and the growing rate is fast as this approach also includes the use of organic fertilizer, watering, soil cultivation, eradicating weeds, wildfire protection – the techniques generally used in agriculture.
Reforestation by Planting Additional Trees
is the approach used in the area where plant stocks naturally existed but did not disperse thoroughly or in the area where there were no plant stocks that are key to the area, thus requiring planting of seedlings. This approach requires natural factors for survival of the newly planted seedlings.
Reforestation by Natural Regeneration Method
is the approach used in the area where there are already natural plant stocks but the stocks could not reproduce naturally or in the area where the seedlings could not fully grow due to several problems including annual wildfire, animal farming, the abundance of weeds. To solve these problems, it thus requires prevention and/or elimination of hindering factors by, for example, preventing wildfire, installing fence to keep animals away, and eradicating weeds.
Natural Rehabilitation
is the approach that lets trees and plants grow naturally. This approach is used along the cliff.
Collabourative Conservation Area
is the area where other organizations had previously planted trees but did not continue to monitor and maintain. As these trees are within the project area, Royal Forest Department thus instructed that they are also monitored and taken care of.
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