Friday, June 25, 2021

in-focus

Quiet celebration to mark successes on National Mangrove Day


The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is focusing on educating, building capacity and understanding, and creating awareness of mangrove forest conservation through public relations to mark National Mangrove Day.

The Cabinet has designated May 10 every year as National Mangrove Day.

This year, the ministry has refrained from organising activities due to the pandemic.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment

Varawut Silpa-archa encouraged the nation to cherish the success Thailand has had in increasing mangrove forest areas.

The ministry's permanent secretary, Jatuporn Buruspat, directed the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to find ways to create comprehensive mangrove management standards and measures.

Varawut said that in the past five years, the health of mangrove forests had been improving and significantly increasing in size. This increase is according to a survey and interpretation of high-resolution satellite images done in 2020 by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organisation). The findings showed mangrove forests of 1.737 million rai (277,920 hectares), a 200,000-rai increase from the 2014 survey. He credited cooperation of all the people and communities who helped maintain and rehabilitate mangrove forests in many areas for the success. Recently, "Baan Tha Lane Canyon in Krabi," a pristine mangrove forest preserved and cared for by the local people, was opened for eco-tourism.

May 10 each year is marked as National Mangrove Day because on May 10, 1991, HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, had first addressed relevant departments to protect and conserve mangrove forests jointly.

Varawut has urged the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, the agency primarily responsible, to take the royal speech as a guideline for mangrove forest conservation with the participation of the people, community, and various sectors.

"National Mangrove Day is the day we should commemorate His Royal Grace for caring and concerning with the value of mangrove forest conservation. It is the day to celebrate the success of our teamwork in increasing the mangrove forests by 200,000 rai. Hopefully, it will continue to grow every single year.

"I believe in the people's determination to maintain and rehabilitate mangrove forests so that they will be pristine and long-lasting," said Varawut.

Quiet celebration to mark successes on National Mangrove Day

Jatuporn said that the ministry had refrained from activities due to the pandemic. However, the focus would be on public relations regarding citizens' cooperation in mangrove forest conservation, their achievement in increasing the forest areas, creating awareness of natural resource conservation, and building understanding of the mangrove ecosystem. There are also other vital achievements related to mangrove forest conservation. Firstly, the Rama IX International Mangrove Botanical Garden has been established on 518 rai in Chanthaburi province. It is the world's first mangrove-based botanical garden that collects mangrove forest plants worldwide and serves as a research and learning centre for mangrove forest conservation and rehabilitation. Secondly, the ministry has been preparing to propose Ranong's mangrove forest area, which contains high biodiversity and a unique ecosystem, as a natural World Heritage Site. It would give the international community a glimpse of the integrity of Thailand's natural resources and reflect the cooperation of the people who help take care of them.

Quiet celebration to mark successes on National Mangrove Day

In addition, Jatuporn has advised Sopon Thongdee, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, on taking the lessons learned from past activities to improve their performance, developing officials' knowledge and capability, finding private sector partners as well as building a network of people to promote participation in mangrove forest conservation.

Quiet celebration to mark successes on National Mangrove Day

He believes that once the Covid-19 crisis eases, Thai and international tourists would visit mangrove forests in Thailand in large numbers.

Published : May 09, 2021

By : The Nation