| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Due to our dedication to ensure planting forest to survive and maintain it to be permanent forest, various initiatives creative and innovation has been generated.
Phase I : During 1994-2012, we have created the model which support and addresses factors of sustainable forest of PTT reforested area. These include 10 projects:
1. Wildfire Prevention Volunteer Project: to train villagers around reforested area about forest resources conservation and methods of surveillance and control of wildfire, an important threat to the forest.
2. PTT Youth to Conserve the Forest Project: to install forest awareness in the youth who are future generation.
3. Training for Forest Protection Volunteers Project: the training course of awareness and tending forest for villagers around the reforested area to be network for look after the forests as the landowner.
4. PTT Developing Village Project: to develop quality of life e.g. supplemental jobs, provide technology and infrastructure, etc., to mitigate poverty and forest encroachment so that they can be self-reliant.
5. Long-term Forest Conservation Fund: to support revolving fund for loan of supplemental jobs and use of its interests for forest maintenance.
6. Research of Sustainable Forest Management Project: to study and analysis of patterns, methods, and techniques of sustainable forest management.
7. Green Heart Project: PTT encourage official staff to reforest activities in order “Plant a forest in their heart, men survive and forest thrives”.
8. Green Globe Institute: giving awards for encourage community and general people who have distinguished environmental work.
9. Produce Luang Phor Koon (Coin of Venerable Father Khoon) “Koo Rak Pa” (I, conserve the forest): we hope that the coin will remind the majority of Thais who are Buddhist to lend a hand in protecting the forest.
10. Public relations campaign: to increase awareness, disseminate core knowledge and campaign on significance of forest.
Phase II : During 2013-2024, PTT has built four learning centers from the gained core knowledge, experience and expertise:
- Sarinart Rajini Ecosystem Learning Center, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province;
- Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Herbal Garden, Rayong Province;
- The Metro-Forest Project, Prawet, Bangkok;
- Wangchan Forest Project, Wangchan District, Rayong Province
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
After PTT begin reforestation project by promoting the Reforestation Campaign in Commemoration of the Royal Golden Jubilee project of RAMA 9 to PTT-RFI. The PTT-RFI having clear work structure and personnel responsible in charge, then they coordinated with the government agencies in central and local site surrounding replanting area in order to design an operation plan that is well suited to each area. PTT has implementing followed the designed plan in order to achieve specified objectives.
Nowadays, PTT :
- Has reforested area of 1,157,831 rai (185,252.96 hectares) countrywide, covered 56 provinces.
- Has trained 51,985 people or 12,996 families (approximately).
- Reforested area has sequestrated carbon dioxide 30.28 million tCO2e or mean annual increment of 1.89 million tCO2e per year.
- And has released total oxygen back into atmosphere 24.22 million tO2 or 1.50 million tO2 per year.
- People around the reforested area obtained benefit of wild products from entire reforested area e.g. mushroom, vegetables, herbs, fuel wood, etc., which value of 266 million Baht per year or 8.06 million US$ per year (over a 20 year-period).
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
PTT has laid out “PTT Green Roadmap” specifying the green organization strategies which cover three areas, one of which is environmental awareness building. This has been underscored throughout the past 20 years ago since the beginning point of Reforestation Campaign in Commemoration of the Royal Golden Jubilee project of RAMA 9 in 1994 up until the establishment of PTT-RFI. The journey from past to nowadays has reflects a major milestone of PTT on the way of natural resources conservation.
At present, PTT-RFI has 35 employees working in four divisions:
1. Planning and Evaluation division, responsible function of define strategies, directions as well as evaluate the implementing process;
2. Academic division, responsible function of collection and analysis of core knowledge, conduct research, execution and disseminate information to public;
3. Plantation and network development division of region I, responsible function for plantation, maintenance and network development in Central, Southern, Eastern and Western regions;
4. Plantation and network development division of Region II, is responsible for plantation, maintenance and network development in Northern and Northeastern regions.
The implementing reforestation stage of PTT-RFI as:
1. Survey and selecting reforest area
- This is a critical process of determining target area. The step employs valid criteria in order to choose suitable areas that are approved by surrounding communities.
2. Community forum and mapping survey
The public community forum is held to explain project rational and objectives through obtain opinions from the community. Upon approval, a mapping survey could conduct in detail. The area which is unable to be planted will be excluded.
3. Planting crew recruitment
- PTT aims to engage participation of communities in every step and considers hiring inside local people as first priority.
4. Planting and maintenance
- Plant native tree species that suite original ecosystem or site quality.
- Planting trees for one year and maintaining it for at least another two years before handing over to responsible organization.
5. Control and approval reforested area
- Undertake by the committee which consisting representative from PTT-RFI, community, and government who has authorities work in controlling and inspecting the work in each step. A key performance indicator for survival rate is at least 80%.
6. Planting evaluation
- The team of both PTT-RFI and external evaluator has assess in each area based on academic forestry.
7. Planted sites handover
- After the completion of reforestation and maintenance as scheduled, the area will be returned to responsible organization to look after so as to ensure permanent sustainable forest.
Note: Other supplementary projects are carried out all along with major activities depending on rationale and needs of each area.
Budget for implementation
For the past 22 years, the PTT has allocated budget over 4,931 million Baht or about 149.42 million US$ for planting, maintenance and other supplementary projects. It has become the largest state enterprise and private sector in Thailand that invests on a largest scale of reforestation project in term of budget, implementation period, reforested area, and supplementary projects.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
By holding the community forums where the concerns are voiced and heard, the PTT-RFI can thus be sure that we have always shared the common needs with the landowner and local communities around the reforested area in tackling the problem.
Several stakeholders include:
- State agency: is the agency which spells out a policy, facilitates in providing target area, sharing knowledge of reforestation. Those are Royal Forest Department (RFD), Department of National park Wildlife and Plants (DNP) and Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR).
- Local administrative organizations: are a cooperative network for the implementation on each area and an agency which supports target reforested area in the community and public area. These include Sub-district Administrative Organizations (SAO), Sub-district Head, and Head of the Village, etc.
- People surrounding the reforested area: are key man of reforestation, protection of reforested area in adjacent to living compound of communities.
- Schools around reforested area: is a network which organizes training courses of PTT Youth to Conserve the Forest.
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): are the agency rendering support in promoting quality of life and strength of the community. These include Population and Community Development Association (PDA), Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and Wildlife and Plant Protection Foundation of Thailand (WWF), etc.
- Educational institutes: are partnership who support academic information, conduct research and monitoring and evaluation e.g. Kasetsart University, Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University, and Mae Jo University, etc.
- Royal Thai Army: supports the trainings courses of for Forest and Fire Protection Volunteers.
- Mass media: disseminating knowledge and public relation of information and create true understanding.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The outputs of PTT-RFI’s performance is in line of several issues in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nation as follows:
- SDGs No.1: No poverty, the reforested area provides four basic needs of human namely clothing, food, lodging and medicine;
- SDGs No.3: Good health and well-being, due to abundant forest can provide and improve good environment and air;
- SDGs No.13: Addressing global warming and climate action;
- SDGs No.15: Sustainable forest management, end and revive soil degradation and loss of biodiversity.
1. An increasing forest area of 1,157,831 rai (185,252.96 hectares) (from 1994-2014), it was sequestrated carbon dioxide 30.28 million tCO2 or 1.89 million tCO2 per year and release total oxygen 24.22 million tO2 or 1.50 million tO2 per year back into the atmosphere, that enough for offset GHG emission and oxygen need for 0.47 and 4.89 million persons per year respectively (Source: Forestry Research Center, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, 2014)
2. The recovering biodiversity and ecosystem e.g. area of watershed, forest cover area and biodiversity of plants and wildlife.
3. Better livelihood of the community around the reforested area as;
- The communities can utilize wild products such as mushroom, vegetables, herbs, fuel wood, etc., which value of 266 million Baht per year or 8.06 million US$ per year (over a 20 year-period), (Source: Forestry Research Center, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, 2014).
- The villagers around reforested area have additional income from farming due to abundant water supply from watershed forest area all year round and a decrease of unemployment after harvesting season.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. The area for reforestation is limited as most of the reforested area in the first phase was degraded area in the reserved forest area. When the government expropriated the land for the purpose of reforestation and offered to the PTT-RFI for forest restoration, conflict arose. The community withheld their cooperation or later claimed the land back. This hindered the success and survival of the reforested area.
The solutions are:
- Select non-controversial sites with the community and exclude those overlapping with living and agricultural areas of the communities.
- Organize a community forum as a stage to clarify and acknowledge their opinion in order to create mutual understanding and enable the PTT-RFI to further assess the success of implementation.
- Explore new target areas that are not in the governmental area e.g. the land of the private sector, privately-owned land or land for public community use.
2. Climate change problem arising from global warming affects reforestation program as it needs to be done according to the season e.g. planting must begin in early rainy season. If the season delays or there is a long absence of rain, the survival of seedling may be in jeopardy or all of them will die.
The solutions are:
- Monitor the weather forecast and inquire the people in the area about current changes of season;
- Set up replanting schedule for maintenance every year.
3. Human-caused wildfires e.g. burning grass, setting fire for the purpose of hunting animals and accelerating the growth of certain valuable vegetables (Pak Wan Pa or Melientha suavis Pierre) as well as bullying.
The solutions are:
- Building firebreak and removing weeds that can cause fuel wood of wildfire;
- Hiring villages to be patrol for put out fires;
- Training Wildfire Prevention Volunteers.
- Training for Forest Protection Volunteers to provide awareness for communities around reforested areas to have love and care for the forest resources.