RFD seeks Bt1 bn to restore forest land
The state forest protection agency has asked the government to allocate nearly Bt1 billion to restore over 150,000 rai of degraded forest nationwide.
With this budget, Royal Forest Department chief Boonchop Sutthamanaswong said over 84 million seedlings would be planted to rehabilitate over 150,000 rai of destroyed forest, especially in headwater areas.
The department would ask for help from local communities and officials to plant seedlings in 30,000 rai of community forest.
The department also plans to build 5,000 check dams across the country to retain water in the forest and lower the speed of water flow during storms.
This project was part of the Bt350-billion flood and water management projects overseen by the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC).
According to Boonchop, the WFMC last year reserved about Bt10 billion from Bt 350 billion allocated for forest restoration projects. The department had already spent Bt945 million on seedling incubation and check dam construction. To date, about 2,500 check dams have been built.
Boonchop was expected to start planting 84 million seedlings and restoring degraded forest by May during the rainy season. About 14 million of these seedlings will be sent to the Interior Ministry.
He said the department would this year tighten its measures to control forest encroachment nationwide, including the immediate arrest of new forest encroachers. For repeat offenders in forest encroachment, fines will range from Bt 60,000 to Bt150,000.