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

Khorat Forest Conservation Project in Thailand

Monks from the Thai Forest Tradition have transformed a former banana plantation at Samati Pavana into a mixed forest with more than 550 species of medicinal plants


The project is based in Thailand's largest province, Nakon Ratchasima, and spread over four zones encompassing 43 forests. Responsibility for the running of these projects is shared between monasteries and village communities with the Thai Forestry Department and provincial government. Communities in 109 villages and 90 Buddhist wats (monasteries) are involved. The forest areas without wats are overseen by village groups. Regular network meetings are held throughout the year at village, sub-district, district and provincial level. Participants include Buddhist monks, village forest groups and other forest stakeholders including provincial government representatives and the Thai Forestry Department.

Wild native seeds collected from forests around Bungpra Temple are germinated in the nursery or given to other temples and community forests
A network of activists and volunteers

The overall Buddhist co-ordination comes from Luang Ta Sha and his team from their monastic training centre and administrative office. Their advice is frequently sought as mediators. Buddhist activity ranges from direct management of forests to participation in community management and monitoring, and campaigning on development issues in these forest areas. One monastery from each zone is the focus for conservation activities and runs tree nurseries, gives seedlings to local villages, offers skills training in composting, organic gardening and appropriate forest management, and is often the first port of call for reports of illegal logging or slash and burn, or for advice on forest law and help with campaigning.

Partnership with the Thai Forestry Department

The Thai Forestry Training Centre for Khorat province provides free technical, material and legal support. At the request of the Khorat project they provide regular training to the network members or advice on specific forest issues.

Monastic expertise

In Nakorn Ratchasima province, there is also a wide network of monks with specific expertise in areas such as large-scale forest management, seed identification and collection, water resource management and the cultivation and use of medicinal plants. For example, the abbot of Sawati Pawana is an expert on medical plants and over the last 11 years has cultivated more than 500 species of medicinal plants in what was once a coconut plantation.

> Education and training in Khorat province

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