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ARC Home > Projects > Asia projects :
Thailand | Khorat Forest Conservation Project | Khorat education work | Bangkok’s Rare Storks

Thai Forest Traditions

A specialist in forest management on a visit to Thai monks working on forestry and education projects, pictured before a 1200 year-old statue of the Reclining Buddha

In the Theravada tradition, monks sometimes leave their monasteries – for between several days and many years – to live and pray in a forest. The very fact that monks are present in a forest is sometimes enough to make it a sacred, protected place.

The Khorat Initiative, led by the highly respected Buddhist monk and teacher Luangta Share, has built on this forest tradition to organise a network of 16 monasteries encompassing 47 forests.

Based in Thailand’s largest province, Nakhon Ratchasima, northeast of Bangkok, they use their compounds as education and health centres, and their lands as tree nurseries and places where forestry and heritage groups can meet and work together to solve forest management issues.

The venerable Luangta Share, whose network of monasteries works to benefit the forests and their communities
The focus of these projects is not just on conservation and religion, in fact their success lies in their holistic approach from which all the community benefit. A central feature is capacity building within the community, through training and education. A regular cycle of network meetings for monks, villages and trainers assesses projects, and shares information and skills.

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