Asia model forests project
NGAO MODEL FOREST, THAILAND
Ngao River watershed, Lampang Province, Thailand
Area: 175,159 ha Population: 48,000 Per capita income: 32,542 Baht or USD 723/year Forest resources: Mixed deciduous forest with teak (77,894 ha); dry dipterocarp forest (24,191 ha); evergreen forest (4,186 ha); production teak plantations (7,052 ha); and shifting cultivation (59,008 ha). Infrastructure: 5,170 households and 62 villages; traversed by National Highway No. 1 and provincial highway No. 103.
Ngao to provide a base for the introduction, testing and adaptation of ‘new’ forest management techniques. In 1977, the Huai Tak Teak Reserve (4,700 ha) in the NDF was declared a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. The Mae Yom National Park (1,244 ha) was declared in 1986 and the Tham Pha Thai National Park (56,519 ha) is awaiting gazettement.
In 1999, ITTO approved pre-project funding to promote SFM through provision of information and a management plan for the establishment of a MF at NDF. When Thailand joined the RMFP, NDF was proposed as the site for the development of their RMFP-supported MF.
The development of Ngao MF, with its focus on stakeholder partnerships to demonstrate sound and practical forest and land use practices, is very timely and critical for Thailand.
After considerable stakeholder meetings and discussions, the Ngao MF Partnership Group was formed and an Interim Committee elected, in October 2001. At subsequent Interim Committee meetings, it was decided to form a Ngao MF Development Association and a draft constitution was adopted in principle. Members include representatives of the Sub-district Administrative Organisation (SAO), Royal Forest Dept. (RFD), other government depts., local communities, NGOs and private sector. The Ngao MF structure is shown in Fig. 4. The Ngao MF field office is located at the RFD Forest Sector office, Mae Huat, Ngao.
Members of the Partnership Group visited successful bamboo and medicinal plant enterprises in Prachinburi, Chachoengsao, Kanchanaburi, and Ang Thong Provinces, as well as successful NGO operations in Nan and Phrae Provinces.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED
- Shifting cultivation and land tenure.
- Over-exploitation of forest resources.
- Conflict among local communities, RFD and other government agencies, and other stakeholders.
- Need for improved livelihoods and opportunities.
- National inception workshop.
- Identification of and consultations with stakeholders.
- Ngao MF Partnerships group and Interim Committee establishment and meetings.
- Study tour to successful medicinal plant and bamboo cultivation, and processing enterprises in Prachinburi, Chachoengsao, Kanchanaburi, Ang Thong and Chainat provinces.
- Establishment of MF field office, Mae Huat Forest Sector Office.
- Socio-economic assessment of households in Ngao MF.
- Collaborative management of wild bamboo with local communities.
- Promotion, cultivation and utilisation of paper mulberry.
- Research and demonstration of edible insect farming.
- Promotion of rain tree planting for wood carving and ‘lac’ production.
- Establishment of demonstration bamboo farm, including planting of 220 Pai Sang (Dendrocalamus membraneus), 200 Pai Tong (D. asper) and 500 Pai Ruak (Thyrsostachys siamensis).
- Establishment of seed/clone bank for local bamboo and medicinal plants, including planting of 2,000 seedlings of 40 medicinal plant species in a 3 ha demonstration area to promote wider planting of these species by the local communities.
- Development of local C&I for SFM for Ngao MF.
- Nursery techniques and cultivation of NWFPs (bamboo, rain tree, medicinal plants, edible insects, etc.)
- Review of forest and related policies, legislation and regulations and their implications for SFM and the MF Approach.
- Development and monitoring of C&I for Ngao MF.
- Inventory and monitoring of Ngao Demonstration Forest (ITTO-funded activity).
- Preparation of workplan and proposal for development of Ngao MF (joint RFD/RMFP/IMFNS/ITTO activity).
- Preparation of “best practice” guidelines/manuals for bamboo cultivation, bamboo sticks and charcoal production.
- Rehabilitation of mixed deciduous forest.
- Translation of IMFNS Model forest development guide into Thai.
- Production of pamphlet, Ngao Demonstration Forest - A Model Forest for SFM (English and Thai).
- Exhibitions at the Huai Tak Biosphere Reserve.
- Publication and dissemination of Ngao MF newsletter.
- 30 information boards on MF Project set-up in Ngao MF.
- 3-day summer camp for 60 students from 8 secondary schools to promote awareness of forest conservation and the MF project.
- 380 seedlings of 6 tree species voluntarily planted by local people in Huai Pong Tong watershed area