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Varawut chairs the Award Ceremony, Ban Wang Hora Community Forest, Suphan Buri won “the National Community Forest Award 2021” under “Love the Forest and Community” program, Collaborated by Royal Forest Department and RATCH Group

Bangkok – H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment honorably chaired the National Community Forest Award Ceremony which is a cooperation between the Royal Forest Department and RATCH Group Public Company Limited, to select the best practice of the community forest of “Love the Forest and Community Program of Year 2021”.

The announced winner of “the National Community Forest Award” is Ban Wang Hora Community Forest in Suphan Buri province who entitled to receive the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Trophy While Ban Non Thong In Community Forest (Dong Kok Phueng Forest) in Udon Thani Province is the winner of an outstanding award for “Community Forests Reduce Global Warming and Provide Sustainable Benefits.”

Mr. Surachai Achalaboon, Director-General of the Royal Forest Department, said that the Royal Forest Department's mission is to protect and preserve the national forests together with taking care of people's difficulty and problems by encouraging the public sector to participate in the conservation, restoration and protection of natural resources. People and forests can coexist sustainably and be able to maintain natural resources and the environment for survival by moving forward the mission through 5 important guidelines: 1. Protect and preserve the existing forest 2. Increase new forest areas 3. Let people live in the forest. Allocate land for the community to legally cultivate. 4. Promote valuable wood. Distribute economically valuable tree seedlings to communities to plant on their own land to be a source of reserve funds in the future and can be used as collateral for loans; and 5. Develop community forests and encourage communities living in forest areas to participate in community forest conservation, together with the proper use of the forest, increasing household income to make people have a better life in respond to the government's policy to maintain the natural resource base’s stability and to create a balance between conservation and sustainable use.

“The Community Forest Act B.E. 2562 is a key driver of the community forests expansion to be more efficient and create flexibility in community forest management. The local community forest committees enable to manage their community forests under the law and build cooperative partnership between the state and people for community forest management leading to sustainable mutual solutions. The Community Forest Contest organized by the Royal Forest Department in collaboration with RATCH Group helps support the community forest development with a good management system in order to maximize benefits to the community, society and the country. The awards have helped to increase the communities’ morale in forest conservation management until it is upgraded to be a model community forest with strong cooperation in protecting, restoring and caring for the forest, including sufficiency and sustainable use of the forests. This project is a strong collaboration of the government, private and public sectors which leads to concrete success,” said Mr. Surachai.

Ms. Choosri Kiatkajornkul, CEO of RATCH Group Public Company Limited said that the Company is committed to improving greenhouse gas management for playing a part in society and the global community to mitigate the global warming and climate change impacts. Through driving strategies on ESG; environment, society and corporate governance, it has set a long-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% of total emissions by 2025. One of the guidelines to achieve the target is to increase natural ecosystem by promoting and supporting the conservation and restoration of the forests and environment, which is the main source of carbon sinks. The Company’s key driving project is the "Love the Forest and Community Project", in cooperation with the Royal Forest Department since 2008. The project’s goals are to encourage the community participation in the country’s forest management in the form of community forests, building awareness for creating love and cherish in taking care of the community forest as its own home, as well as promoting the forests’ conservation and utilization in a balanced and sustainable manner.

“Over 14 years of project implementation, there were community forests that received a total of 1,974 awards accounting for 1,276,389-rai forest area. The Company is proud to take part in strengthening and empowering the communities which is an important mechanism for conserving forest areas and biodiversity for the benefit of greenhouse gas sequestration, food and water security, and natural resources of the country. The Company is ready to cooperate with all sectors to expand the project results towards the Sustainable Development Goal 13, addressing climate change to create awareness and increase the community's capacity for global climate change adaptation in the future,” said Ms. Choosri.

For the 2021 community forest contest under "Love the Forest and Community” program, there were awarded 146community forests with a total forest area of 124,114.75 rai, equal to the carbon dioxide capture and storage performance of 781,922.98 tons (the average forest carbon sequestration rate is approximately 6.3. tons/rai).

Ban Wang Hora Community Forest in Suphan Buri province won the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s national award Trophy and the winner of the outstanding award “Community Forests Reduce Global Warming and Provide Sustainable Benefits” is Ban Non-Thong In community forest (Dong Kok Phueng forest) in Udon Thani province,

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