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“To drive community forest preservation and development efficiency and continually, the private sector is an important supporting partner. We have received good cooperation from Ratchaburi Holding to implement the Love the Forest and Community program. The program initiative is a key driver for the application of HM the King’s and HM the Queen’s ideas on forest development for the ultimate benefit of the community.  This involves strengthening the communities while building a network of communities for efficient management of community forests”, said Director-General of the Royal Forest Department.

The results of the program are satisfactory. There was an increase in community forests nationwide that participated in the program from 2008 to present. The community forests approved by the Royal Forest Department have continually grown from 6,536 community forests with a total of forest area of 2.1 million rai in 2008 to 8,782 community forests with the total of forest area of over 3.5 million rai in September 2013.

Mr. Pongdith Potchana, Chief Executive Officer, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding PLC, said, “The Company has cooperated with the Royal Forest Department on the Love the Forest and Community program since 2008. The program is seen as successful because there are now more community forests than when the program started. Community forest networks have been established across the nation. The network is a key factor in protecting the country’s forests. To drive phase 2 of the Love the Forest and Community program, we are committed to continuing with forest conservation as the Company’s policy. We support the Royal Forest Department policy on community forests, which is an efficient method to protect and increase forest areas. We have found that community forests are key to forest protection and environmental conservation because the local community understands the concept of ‘forest is life’.”

“The company is ready to encourage all communities who express their intention to continually protect the country’s forests while building awareness for everyone to realize the importance of the forest’s benefits.  The community should also participate in natural resources preservation from our generation to future generations. We believe that the cooperation among the Royal Forest Department, Ratchaburi Holding and the communities under the Love the Forest and Community program will help encourage strong community forest management, decrease forest trespass, increase forest area and serve as one way to help address the global warming problem,” said Pongdith.

There have been 935 community forests nationwide that joined the Love the Forest and Community 2013 program. There were 132 award winning community forests this year. The top winners were;

Baan Dong Huay Yen Community Forest in Tambon Ban Hong, Amphoe Ban Hong, Lamphun Province which was selected as the best national community forest and received HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Trophy and a BHT 200,000 Community Forest Conservation Fund.    

Baan Dong Huay Yen Community Forest, was damaged by a mining concession and logging.  Community people realized the issue and arranged meetings to set up a community forest committee. They created community forest rules and arranged activities to protect the forest. The forest has now returned to its former richness. At present the community forest is a source of water for the community, a source of food and herbs and a home for animals i.e. peacocks, barking deer and wild pigs. The community constructed a pipeline to carry water down the mountain to the villages, as well as a nature study trail for visitors and provides education on forest conservation for youth in the community.

The three runner up national community forest award winners that were each granted an honorary plaque by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and a BHT 100,000 Community Forest Conservation Fund were: 

Baan Vang Siladireksarn Community Forest, Tambon Phoem Phun Sap, Amphoe Ban Na San, Surat Thani
Baan Kong Ta Bang Community Forest, Tambon Tha Mai Ruak, Amphoe
Tha Yang, Phetchaburi
Baan Tad Rin Tong Community Forest, Tambon That Thong, Amphoe
Phu Kiao, Chaiyaphum
The special community forest award for “Sufficiency Economy” was this year’s special award. It was intended to foster community forests that understand and have adapted the Sufficiency Economy philosophy to develop in their community forest management. They have effectively utilized natural resources in a balanced and sustainable manner. The award was granted to Baan Juraporn Pattana 12 Community Forest in Tambon Sikhirin, Amphoe Sikhirin, Narathiwat, which received an honorary plaque from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and a BHT 100,000 Community Forest Conservation Fund.

The provincial model community forest award was granted to 64 communities who were awarded an honorary plaque by the Director-General of the Royal Forest Department and a support fund of BHT 25,000 for community forest preservation.  There were also 63 consolation prizes which included an honorary plaque presented by the Director-General of the Royal Forest Department and a BHT 10,000 support fund for community forest protection.  

For more information, please contact:

Public Relations Department

Wiwan Phayakvichien

Tel: 0 2794 9941

E-mail wiwanp@ratch.co.th

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