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Baan Lao Nua Community Forest, Phrae won "the National Community Forest Award 2018" under "Love the Forest and Community" program organized by Royal Forest Department and RATCH

Bangkok - The Royal Forest Department (RFD) in partnership with Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited (RATCH) announces that the winner of “the National Community Forest Award 2018” entitled to received HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Trophy under the Love the Forest and Community program is “Baan Lao Nua Community Forest, Song district, Phrae. This year, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Kanjanarat presided over the award-presentation ceremony.

In collaboration between RFD and RATCH since 2008, “Love the Forest and Community program” aims at promoting the forest conservation in terms of the community forest. Local people are encouraged to take part in forest conservation and are allowed to receive benefit from forest in terms of food or herbs for lessening their daily expenses and increasing income. Generally, forest is the source of water and food as well as carbon sink that helps mitigate the global warming. Over the past 11 years, the community forest contest under “Love the Forest and Community” program has been organized to praise the community showing best performance in forest management including restoration, conservation and utilization based on sufficiency economy and sustainability, with overall community’s participation. The winning community forest will become the model of other communities nationwide.

Miss Suthiluck Raviwan, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Acting Director General of Royal Forest Department said that the community forest is a key driver for enlarging forest area to reach 40% out of the entire area of the country. In 2018, the number of community forests registered with the RFD amounts to 11,246 community forests, accounting for 5.9% of the entire forest area of the country thus boosting overall forest area of the country to reach 6,124,375 million rai. RFD set a goal to expand the number of community forests to 21,850 villages nationwide, or 19.1 million rai. RFD was confident that the established goal will be achieved due to supporting factors from Community Forest Act, B.E. 2561 (2018) allowing local people to take part in forest conservation and to receive benefit from the forest. Obviously, this marked an important milestone of community forest conservation.

"The Community Forest Act plays an important role in promoting the local participation in conservation, development, reforestation and biodiversity enhancement. This Act allows local communities to utilize forest and natural resources in balanced and sustainable way. To this end, the community forest will be divided into two parts: the forest area that must be conserved to maintain the abundance and the forest area for utilization allowing people generate income for local community and lessen their expenses. Therefore, the community and forest can live together in harmony way, thus enhancing local unity to protect the forest as their source of water, food and carbon sinks to lessen the global warming risks regarded as a root cause of climate change and natural disasters."

Mr. Kijja Sripatthangkura, RATCH CEO, said “Love the Forest and Community” program is one of our corporate and social responsibility projects (CSR) aiming at encouraging the conservation of forest, eco system, biodiversity as well as life quality improvement through the community forest management. This will help restore, maintain and enhance green areas for the country in line with the government’s 20-year national strategy.

“Love the Forest and Community” program aims at encouraging on local community’s participation in community forest management. This program has been praised more than 1,500 community forests and supported the community forest network consisting of current and future generations through Seminar of community leader networks and Klayim Youth Camp. The company committed to operating business based on sustainable development and determined to conserve the natural resource and enhance green area in terms of the ‘community forest’ which is the efficient forest management based on the participation of all sectors: people, government sector and private sector to enlarge the carbon sink for our country. This is in line with the corporate policy of reducing greenhouse gas in the generation process together with the energy efficiency and natural resource conservation to meet Goal 12(Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) and Goal 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

For the 2018 community forest contest under “Love the Forest and Community” program, there are 144 winning community forests this year, out of 1,171 participating community forests, with the total forest area of 136,896.27 rai, equal to the carbon dioxide capture and storage performance of 273,792.54 tons.

Baan Lao Nua Community Forest, Moo 4, Tambon Baan Klang, Amphoe Song, Phrae won HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Trophy and received a 200,000-baht funds. Its outstanding forest management strategy is “Forest Closure.” People were not allowed to enter into and utilize products from the forest for three years in order to promote natural rehabilitation. After that, the local community applied for establishment of the 2,720-rai community forest. For forest’s benefit utilization, local people’s financial burdens were lessened as they can use natural products in term of food. Meanwhile, the upstream water source can be developed into the water supply to support agricultural activities.

Each of three runners-up for the National Community Forest Award 2018 that received an honorary plaque and a 100,000-baht funds were:

  • Baan Khao Wang Community Forest, Moo 12, Hin Tok sub-district, Ron Phiboon district, Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
  • Baan Pak Mun Community Forest, Moo 4, Pak Mun sub-district, Dan Sai district, Lei.
  • Tambon Sahakorn Nikom Community Forest, Sahakorn Nikom sub-district, Thong Papoom district, Kanchanaburi.

The winner of the special prize of “Biodiversity Management for Sustainable Development” in 2018 is Baan Phu Khao Kaew community forest, Moo 8, Chiang Kian sub-district, Theng district, Chiang Tai received an honorary plaque and 100,000-baht funds and each of three runners-up was awarded with an honorable plaque and 25,000-baht funds:

  • Baan Yang-ngoy Community Forest, Moo 3 and Moo 10, Srisongkram sub-district, Srisongkram district, Nakhon Phanom
  • Baan Nongbua Community Forest, Moo 1 Jorakae Sampan sub-district, U Thong district, Suphan Buri
  • Baan Bon Kuan Community Forest, Moo 6 Khao Phra sub-district, Rattaphoom district, Songkhla

In addition, each of Regional Community Forest Award winners received an honorary plaque and 30,000-baht funds; each of the 66 Provincial Community Forest Award winners received an honorary plaque and 25,000-baht funds. Meanwhile, each of the 66 consolation prizes received an honorary plaque and 10,000-baht funds. These awards will enhance encouragement for both officials and networks that show best performances in forest conservation. The plagues are also given to Community Forest Management Bureau officials who are in charge of winning community forests in the level of national and special prizes as well as the ‘Klayim’ role model network.

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