Forestry and Environmental Conservation
PDA initiated reforestation in public areas with the participation of villagers who elected community forest planting committees for environmental care and community benefit, first in the northeast region since 1980 and then throughout the country with significant extension of the afforested area with support from government agencies and the private business sector, i.e. such as Permanent Reforestation Project in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession; with financial support from PTT giant acacia, bamboo, cassia, neem, takianthong, teak, pradu, makha-mong, benchaphan and other fast-growing plants were planted.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung province wetlands of Thale Noi and Songkhla Lake were rehabilitated, in Krabi and Phangnga provinces reforestation and coastal projects were implemented, in Ratchaburi province subdistrict parks were established, in Mahasarakam and Khon Kaen provinces planting of indigenous trees was promoted, in the Khao Kho Development Project of Phetchabun province and many other sites countrywide soil and water conservation, as well as the sufficiency sufficiency economy principle were propagated and villagers trained to be pilot farmers and role models in conservation.
In addition, local conservation organizations were established such as Nature Conservation Clubs in villages around Khao Yai National Park, Pha Taem Conservation Club in Khong Chiam District of Ubon Ratchathani province, and Bang Pa Canal Conservation Club in Ratchaburi province. PDA is also responsible for hundreds of community and school environment projects, the creation of a manual about community environment for school teachers and the production of printed media for promoting wildlife conservation.
PDA’s environmental protection efforts have been internationally recognized with the 2002 UNDP Equator Prize for its successful buffer zone development in Subtai adjacent to the Khao Yai National Park. Poverty and indebtedness forced many villagers to engage in illegal hunting and logging, but PDA’s environmental protection societies in the area successfully promoted environmentally friendly alternatives such as tree planting, ‘green’ agriculture and eco-tourism.
Currently, PDA is registered as an environmental protection and natural resource conservation organization under the Ministry of Science and Technology.