Huai Mahat Forest Restoration Project
This eco-centric project came together through the collaboration of four organizations – GC, Kasetsart University, the Air and Coastal Defense Command (ACDC), and the Konrakpa Club under the Charklukya – Huai Mahat community. Together, they are rehabilitating and conserving ecosystems covering 2,500 rai on Khao Huai Mahat mountain in Rayong province. Their shared aim is to rehabilitate and restore forest land making it an important source of water that supports agricultural practices creating jobs and boosting incomes for the community.
The Huai Mahat Forest Restoration Project is certified by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization) as a Low Emission Support Scheme (LESS) supported by the private sector in the forest and green area category. The assessment found that the project’s operations (2013-2018) achieved greenhouse gas storage of roughly 32,807.199 tons of CO2 equivalent, or the equivalent of 364,513 trees.
Previously degraded forest land, Khao Huai Mahat is now a wellhead area that can store 32,807.199 tons of greenhouse gases or CO2 equivalent.
Reforestation and the construction of weirs to increase biodiversity providing a balance to its ecosystem
In 2013, GC initiated this project by partnering with the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, the Royal Thai Navy’s ACDC, and the Konrakpa Club under the Charklukya – Huai Mahat community. The ‘Huai Mahat Forest Restoration’ project is a long-term development initiative with a 10-year timeframe from 2013-2023. The objective is to rehabilitate Khao Huai Mahat’s 2,500 rai ecosystem while improving the economic and social well-being of the surrounding communities, and increasing awareness of the need for environmental protection and forest conservation.
Khao Huai Mahat is considered a vital area in Rayong. The area was in poor condition due to agricultural exploitation, frequent wildfires, and especially deforestation. The “Huai Mahat Forest Restoration” project is rehabilitating and preserving the area’s environment and resources through sustainable activities such as reforestation and the construction of weirs to increase biodiversity providing a balance to its ecosystem. This includes maintaining the state of the area’s fertility and soil moisture which increases the forest’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide which in turn, helps mitigate climate change. The project will also establish a phytochemistry learning center focused on plant-based product development in the area. The idea is to harness local know-how to build a community enterprise which can produce natural-based products using a phytochemical base available in Khao Huai Mahat thereby creating a sustainable platform.
The restoration of the ecosystem involves three activities
Reforesting over 693 rai of a degraded area with local plants and restoring Huai Mahat’s green areas and water absorption capacity.
Using GC’s innovative plastic-flapped sacks to build a weir to help increase moisture for Huai Mahat. The plastic-flapped sacks are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE), which makes them more durable and longer-lasting than ordinary flapped sacks.
Building firebreaks and regularly patrolling the area to prevent wildfires.
The local community strongly supports these three activities and welcomed GC volunteers who took the time to help with reforestation and weed control at Huai Mahat. Furthermore, volunteers organize occasional forest conservation activities for youth and others who are interested. Everyone understands the need to rehabilitate and restore this valuable forest area into a water source that can sustain agricultural activities and once again provide decent jobs and incomes for the community.
- Overall project area: 2,500 rai (area needing rehabilitation: 693 rai)
- Forest rehabilitation: (693 rai targeted), 552 rai (79.65%) has been rehabilitated, 48,243 trees planted.
- Weir construction: (1,000 units targeted), 430 units (43%) completed.
- Wildfire prevention: (the community is partnering with groups of volunteers and army officers are on patrol) zero wildfires in the 2017-2018 period.
- Plant species: 169 species found (mainly perennial and herbaceous plants)
- Animal species: 326 species found (mainly insects and birds)
Each activity uses services from the five surrounding communities of Huai Mahat helping generate a collective income. To date, they have achieved
total revenue of
(mainly from delivery vehicles and food).
While doing something truly worthwhile sometimes takes longer than we expect, today, Khao Huai Mahat’s 2,500 rai ecosystem clearly demonstrates the power and impact of communities that come together to effect positive change.
Last Update Apr 2021
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