Ministries launch reforestation effort with planting of 800 million trees

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Having paved over more than 40 percent of its jungles and forests in the past 50 years, Thailand has launched an effort to conserve and restore woodlands by planting 800 million trees.

Interior Ministry officials outlined the 800 million-tree effort launched in honor of HM the Queen’s 80th birthday Aug. 12 at an Aug. 23 public hearing at the Ambassador City Hotel in Jomtien Beach. Deputy Minister Chuchart Hansawat said the plan was hatched in May during a meeting with all of Thailand’s provincial governors, police chiefs, army commanders and agricultural supervisors.

The ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary, former Chonburi governor Pracha Taerat announces local plans to join the Kingdom-wide planting of 800 million trees. The ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary, former Chonburi governor Pracha Taerat announces local plans to join the Kingdom-wide planting of 800 million trees.

The ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary, former Chonburi governor Pracha Taerat, said Thailand had 171 million acres of jungle and forest, which covered 53.3 percent of the country.

By 2009, that had shrunk to just 99.2 million acres, covering only 30.9 percent of the kingdom. Pracha noted that means Thailand had cut down over 1.6 million acres of wooded land a year.

The Interior and Natural Resources and Environment ministries have launched plans to reverse that, sponsoring the massive tree-planting drive, which began in Bangkok.

The agencies also are requiring all provincial governments to establish Centers for the Prevention and Suppression of Deforestation to integrate all levels of governments in conservation and restoration efforts.