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Southern community forest leaders take into action “Soil Aggravation” royal wisdom, to conserve soil and forests

Songkla Province – Forests are critical in striking the balance of the ecosystem and biodiversity. The nature of forests in each region differs accordingly to geographical and biological conditions. “Soil – Water – Forest” is interconnected, producing direct and indirect cyclical impacts on each other. Fertile soil ensures fertile forests, thus promoting water storage which in turn keeps soil fertile and produces nutrients for trees. The preservation of natural soil – water – forest balance is the preservation of living beings and this is a significant and urgent issue that deserves attention and action from all.

The Community Forest Leadership Seminar in the South of Thailand was organized under the collaboration of the Royal Forest Department and RATCH Group Public Company Limited under the Love the Forest and Community program. The seminar concept was shaped around the “sustain, preserve, and continue” initiatives of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, with a focus on His Majesty Late King Rama IX’s soil aggravation project. The 80 community forest leaders from eight southern provinces who attended the seminar were expected to apply the knowledge in sustainably developing their community forests.

Mrs. Boontiva Dansamasatid, the Executive Vice President – Corporate Administration of RATCH Group PCL, said that soil conservation was the focal point of the learning and discussion with the speakers from Phikun Thong Development Study Center in Narathiwas which promotes royal wisdom particularly "soil aggravation". The soil aggravation project was intended to rectify acid soil or peat soil which is a normal condition of soil in the South. The project shows proven success, able to restore soil and forest fertility, maintain the ecosystem and biodiversity and generate sizeable and sustainable benefits to the environment, society and economy.

“Soil is a small reservoir for plants. It defines the nature of forests in each region. Even though some plants can tolerate and grow on acid soil or in swamp forest, the particular forests however are less fertile than other forests that boast a more vast variety of plants. With the knowledge on soil improvement shared by Phikun Thong Development Study Center, community forest leaders experiment the techniques to improve their own forests and raise community agricultural output."

The Community Forest Leader Network Seminar under the Love the Forest and Community program has been organized since 2008. The seminar in Songkhla was the 22nd in the series. Aside from knowledge in soil preservation, community forest leaders learnt about the community forest law and joined a study trip to Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand's learning center at Chana Power Plant.

“RATCH's intention is to turn Klayim community forest leader network into a learning stage for community forest leaders, where they acquire new and useful knowledge, exchange their forest management experiences, and foster a strong network of persons with conservation mind. The shared experiences are extremely valuable and useful to help improve community forest management and extend the impact to wider society,” Mrs Boontiva concluded.

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