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RFD - RATCH - nationwide communities join hands to undertake forest conservation to stop global warming Baan Mae Kued Luang Community Forest, Tak Province wins the National Community Forest Award 2014

Bangkok – The Royal Forest Department (RFD) in partnership with Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited (RATCH) and communities nationwide to protect forests and expand forest areas to stop global warming and announced the results of the Community Forest Contest under the Love the Forest and Community 2014 program. This year, Baan Mae Kued Luang Community Forest was selected for the winner of National Community Forest Award and received the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Trophy and Baan Dong Pa Yung Community Forest was named the "Best Community Forest for the Use of Local Wisdom From the Benefit of Community Forests". Privy Councilor Ampol Senanarong presided over the awards ceremony.   

Mr. Teerapat Prayoonsit, Director-General of the Royal Forest Department (RFD), said, “The global warming crisis has led to critical climate changes and a wide range of natural disasters that have adversely affected lives, properties and the ecology. To restore the situation, forests serve as a key driver to help maintain the climate stability and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. We are committed to undertaking our mission to conserve forests in order to prevent and suppress illegal logging and forest burning activities that generate carbon dioxide and implementing a wide range of forest restoration activities using the community participation approach. Our goal is to protect, maintain, develop and restore forests by ‘promoting the establishment of community forests.’ Communities can benefit from co-existing with forests in accordance with His Majesty the King's sufficiency economy philosophy and bring His Majesty's “development of three types of forest resources lead to four kinds of benefit” concept into practice and this marks a sustainable forest conservation approach."

"To ensure the optimum efficiency in forest management, RFD supports the integrated management approach to oversee forests nationwide in cooperation with related agencies and all stakeholders. We have received positive cooperation from all related parties particularly from community forests nationwide. Currently, there are 9,002 community forests registered with RFD covering the total forest area of 3.7 million rai across the country. This figure is expected to grow significantly as a result of ‘the Love the Forest and Community’ program that has been implemented by RFD in collaboration with RATCH. The management of community forests is beneficial to the development of community forests nationwide run by RFD and also to the country as a whole. The program is a tool that helps RFD to manage and promote the establishment of community forests that are expected to reach 21,850 locations." 

Mr. Pongdith Potchana, Chief Executive Officer, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding PLC., said, “As a company that operates its business on a sustainable development basis, we making environmental development a priority along with the economic growth. The global climate change problem is part of our CSR strategy that we have undertaken to reduce CO2 emissions from its origin while retaining and increasing the number of CO2 storage areas."

"The Love the Forest and Community program supports the approach to retain and increase the number of CO2 storage sites as it promotes the maintenance of local forests. There are 978 award winning community forests with a total forest area of over 900,000 rai, which can retain more than 1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide per rai per annum. We have granted funds of BHT 21 million to the 978 community forests to maintain and develop the forests," added Pongdith.   

"As a leading independent power producer in Thailand, we have developed a variety of alternative energy products in support of electricity generation including wind, solar, biomass and waste to energy, with anticipation to increase our production capacity to 500 megawatts in order to reduce CO2 emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels by 400,000 tons by 2016, compared with 230,000 tons annually achieved today. We have defined energy conservation measures to reduce the use of electricity and other natural resources in our operations, promote efficient energy use in communities and boost the use of community energy technology in many more households. Among these are the change to energy-saving light bulbs, the use of biogas as a replacement for LPG, solar dryers and solar home installations for electricity generation. This helps reduce greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere," concluded Pongdith.

The Love the Forest and Community program promotes conservation of forests that do not only serve as a source of food and water but also help stop the global warming problem. The initiative also encourages communities and all related parties to restore, develop and utilize the forests in a sustainable manner. Key activities of the initiative include the Community Forest Contest, a Seminar for the Network of Community Forest Leaders and the Klayim Youth Camp.

There have been 1,119 community forests nationwide that joined the Love the Forest and Community 2014 program. There were 132 award winning community forests this year. The top winners were; Baan Mae Kued Luang Community Forest in Moo 1, Tambon Mae Kasa, Amphoe Mae Sod, Tak Province which was selected as the winner of national community forest and received the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Trophy and a BHT 200,000 Community Forest Conservation Fund.    

The three runner up national community forest award winners that were each granted an honorary plaque and a BHT 100,000 Community Forest Conservation Fund were: 

- Baan Sri San Phet Community Forest, Moo 9, Tambon U Thong, Amphoe U Thong, Suphan Buri

- Baan Phu Khwang Community Forest, Tambon Ban Khok, Amphoe Muang, Mukdahan

- Baan Ao Ay Yor Community Forest, Moo 4, Tambon Namtok, Amphoe

Thung Song, Nakhon Sri Thammarat

The "Best Community Forest for the Use of Local Wisdom From the Benefit of Community Forests" that was granted an honorary plaque and a BHT 100,000 Community Forest Conservation Fund was:

- Baan Dong Pa Yung Community Forest, Moo 9, Tambon Nathon, Amphoe That Panom, Nakhon Phanom Province

The provincial model community forest award was granted to 63 communities who were awarded an honorary plaque and a support fund of BHT 25,000 for community forest preservation.  There were also 62 consolation prizes which included an honorary plaque and a BHT 10,000 support fund for community forest conservation.  

Press enquiries:
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding
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Azaim Burson-Marsteller (ABM)
Hongsinunt / Satida Tel. 0 2252 9871, 092 264 9889 

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