The mangrove forest had covered 2 million rai (320,000 hectares) 40 years ago, he said.
Deforestation and shrimp farming have contributed to the decline of the mangrove coverage area to 1.5 million rai today, he lamented.
However, the good news is that the mangrove tree area has been stabilised for past several years, he said.
Overall, deforestation of mangrove in Thailand was about 40,000 to 50,000 rai on average, the same rate as reclamation of those deforested areas.
The largest mangrove forests are in Phang-nga, Ranong. On the Siam Gulf, large mangrove forests are in Chanthaburi, Trat and Surat Thani, and Bangkok also has about 4,000 rai of mangrove trees, he said.
People catch 90 types of aqua animals from a mangrove forest and the value of fish, crab, shrimps being harvested by people per one rai of mangrove tree is estimated to be worth about Bt5,000 a year, he said.
He said food from mangrove forest is more important amid the outbreak of Covid-19 as people’s income has declined.
Mangrove trees can also absorb carbon dioxide two to three times more than ordinary trees.
When countries implement carbon credit, countries which have large areas of mangrove forests will greatly benefit from the upcoming agreement, he added.
Published : May 10, 2020
By : The Nation