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5 August 2016
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Locals, firms urged to plant trees

The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has called on the private sector and local communities to play a greater role in helping rehabilitate deteriorating forest conditions across the country by helping plant precious woods.

The TDRI, a non-government Thai policy think-tank focused on social and economic development issues, was assigned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to help draft an environment quality management plan for 2017-2021.

On Wednesday, it organised a forum to gather opinions on the draft plan which contains four main strategies: sustainable and fair natural resources management, natural resources rehabilitation, increasing the efficiency of natural resources use and building capacity to respond to climate change and natural disasters.

Adis Israngkura, adviser to the TDRI, said forest rehabilitation must be a key part of the plan. “But we can’t rely on a budget from the government alone. We still need cooperation from all stakeholders, especially the private sector and local communities to help increase green areas,” Dr. Adis said.

He said the current practice in which companies plant forests under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept is not effective enough as it is done on a small scale.

Dr. Adis suggested the private sector and local community work together to plant precious wood to complement those efforts. It would also yield jobs.

“Companies can earn money from precious woods plantations created under a concession and locals will earn money from being hired as forest caretakers. The economic forest plantation is a good model to increase green areas to 26 million rai under the government’s plan,” he said.

The government intends to increase green areas from 102 million rai to 128 million rai within 10 years, relaxing regulations for 58 precious wood plantations of teak and phayung , among other timbers which can be traded.

First published: Bangkok Post on Friday, August 5, 2016