On 30 May, an inception workshop of an urban forestry project named 'Strengthening Urban Forestry Demonstration Site of Bang Kachao (Thailand) for Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Learning Center' was held in Bangkok, Thailand, which joined by representatives from Royal Forest Department (RFD), Technical Assistance Partners such as Office of National Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) of Thailand, IUCN Thailand and APFNet Secretariat.
This two years’ project was funded by APFNet and implemented by Royal Forest Department of Thailand. The main objective of this project is to maximize biodiversity conservation and strengthen the urban forestry program by establishing a demonstration site in Bang Kachao, Samut Prakarn Province of Thailand, and a learning center including ecotourism promotion and benefits flowing to local communities and other stakeholders.
During the workshop, Mr. Prayut Losuwansiry, Deputy Director General of RFD, pointed that the project will strengthen urban forestry management of the Royal Forest Department by establishing a demonstration site, as well as to be a learning center and knowledge sharing forum for the network of urban community forestry based in Thailand, educational institutions and other interested group. Biodiversity will be conserved as natural learning center for local communities and interested person.
Since 2008, RFD has launched an urban forestry program within a small island of approximately 2,000 ha. The island is located in Samut Prakarn Province which is approximately 10 km far from city centre of Bangkok metropolitan, and the small island is surrounded by 15 km length of Chao Phraya River. There are more than 20,000 inhabitants within the area for more than 500 years, 80% of the area is still covered by vegetation. Up to the present, the area has gained reputation to the public for natural beauty and well-preserved traditional and norm of local people.