In celebration of 2011 UN International Year of the Forest, The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust in Thailand has teamed up with PATT Foundation to establish a Forest Restoration Project.
The project will mitigate an estimated 160,000 tons of CO2 annually by replanting 200 acres of forest (80 ha) in Northern Thailand. The aim is to plant 200,000 trees per year.
Deforestation is a significant contributing factor to climate change. The role our forests play in the control of our atmospheric composition and thus climate are vital. Acting as a giant sink of CO2 by sequestering vast quantities of carbon, plants act as a natural mechanism for the carbon cycle.
Forest restoration projects are excellent strategies for protecting our environment for two reasons. First, they help fix carbon from the atmosphere and are effective long terms options for carbon sequestration. Second, well managed forests can replace lost habitat to improve biodiversity and provide social economic support for communities.
The Soneva project is following a Framework Species Method of Forest Restoration set by the Forestry Research & Restoration Unit (FORRU) at Chiang Mai University, Thailand. The framework species method of forest restoration involves planting 20-30 indigenous tree species specially selected for their ability to rapidly shade out weeds and attract seed-dispersing wildlife.
Birds and mammals, attracted to the plots, bring with them the seeds of many other forest trees and thus help to re-establish a species-rich forest tree community similar to that of the original forest. Planted trees restore forest structure, whilst the animals attracted to them restore biodiversity. Seedlings are propagated in a nursery within close proximity to the planting site and existing forest cover. Seeds are selected from any nearby forest for germination within the nursery.
PATT Foundation has been engaged to implement the project, which was launched 11 August 2011. So far 138,000 trees have been planted in Sri Lanna National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Forest Restoration Project – one effective means to fight climate change
Restoring Forest at Royal Project Nong Hoi
Norway’s Pension Fund Divests from 23 Palm Oil Companies
Norway Pays USD 167M to Brazil to Stop Deforestation