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WWF honours Thai king with forest restoration project


06 Jul 2006, Bangkok, Thailand – Honouring the 60th anniversary of the King of Thailand’s accession to the throne, WWF and the largest duty free store in Thailand announced plans to collborate on a forest restoration project.

WWF and the King Power Duty Free Company Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding to restore degraded forests in Thailand’s Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in the country’s north. In particular, the three-year project aims to reforest at least 10 hectares of key tree species in the park.

Covering an area of 262km2, deciduous and evergreen forests make up Doi Suthep-Pui, which is home to 300 species of birds, as well as wild boars, macaque monkeys and the crocodile salamander, a rare amphibian species that is found in only four sites in Thailand.

“We realize that natural and environmental resource capital is the foundation of life,” said Chulchit Bunyaketu, King Power Group Deputy Chairman.

“While our natural capital has been degrading, it means that our economic capital is also decreasing. That is why supporting natural resource conservation and rehabilitation is important to our mission.”

With support from King Power, WWF will work with Thailand’s Department of Nature Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) of Chiang Mai University, and local communities on the project, which also includes expanding a community tree nursery and experimental forest restoration plots at the Hmong village of Ban Mae Sa Mai located in near the park. The tree nursery will serve as a demonstration and teaching site for Thai forestry specialists, as well as those from neighbouring countries.

“We hope such activities will encourage and guide forest landscape restoration in other areas,” said Dr Sitanon Jesdapipat, WWF Thailand’s Country Programme Director.

“Our main mission is to stop forest degradation in the park. The restoration project represents a new collaboration in conservation management among local communities, government agencies and other institutions to protect part of the country’s watershed and precious natural resources.”


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