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Community forest leaders to exercise King Rama IX’s water management philosophy in tackling drought

Sakon Nakhon Province– RATCH Group Public Company Limited in partnership with the Royal Forest Department organized the 21st seminar series of “Klayim community forest network” under the Love the Forest and Community program for 80 community forest leaders from 10 provinces in Northeastern region. This year’s seminar is aimed at enhancing the participants’ understanding in water resources management, preparing them for climate changes as El Nino phenomenon causes drought in wet areas as well as heavy rain and floods in dry land. The world is also expected to record all-time highest temperature this year.

Mrs. Boontiva Dansamasatid, the Executive Vice President – Corporate Administration, RATCH Group PCL, stressed that the northeastern region of Thailand is expected to experience lower rainfall volume this year because of El Nino. The region may face possible water shortage for both consumption and agriculture and the impacts could be felt by households and small businesses nationwide. In designing the seminar, RATCH thus emphasized late King Rama IX’s wisdom in water management as well as the “sustain, preserve, and continue” initiatives of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, aiming to inspire sustainable development initiatives among forest community leaders.

“The community forest leaders learnt about various water management solutions exercised at Puparn Royal Development Study Center in Sakon Nakhon, a royal project of HM The Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The center experiments and demonstrates multiple solutions to deal with water issues in the northeastern region, ranging from the irrigation system, reservoir construction, the water supply system, the water management at Huai Tad Hai Yai reservoir, the agricultural development with 5-layer forest planting method, herb plantation, and an agroforestry model to the new agricultural theory based on self-sufficiency philosophy. RATCH believes that the integration of knowledge from the seminar and local wisdoms as well as strong determination of the community forest leaders will enhance the efficiency and sustainability of community forest and water management and help them overcome drought,” Mrs. Boontiva adds.

Aside, the community leaders learnt about the underground water bank concept of Phra Nitatesartsanakhun or Luang Por Samarn Siripanyo, which is materialized in the Northeast. The concept focuses on underground water storage, saving abundant water during the rainy season for use in the dry season. To do so, ponds are constructed at flood-prone areas or areas that usually experience runoffs and the contained water will seep through the bed rock that acts as a water bank. Another technique is to fill water ponds with wood scraps, glass bottles, bricks, gravels, rocks or any local materials, and the water level inside the ponds will rise supported by the volume of underground water. The model reflects the exemplary integration of academic knowledge with local wisdoms, which should be widely promoted.

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