The Royal Forest Department in collaboration with Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding has kicked off the seventh contest under the "Love the Forest and the Community" programme.
The programme aims to promote participation among community members via a wide range of activities, including the national community-forest contest.
There are also seminars for community-forest network leaders and the Klayim Youth Camp designed to boost awareness of environmental and natural-resource conservation among young people who will grow up to be leading figures in the future, said Pongdith Potchana, chief executive officer of Ratchaburi.
The contest will provide models and learning platforms for other communities.
After the application period ended on April 30, the judging committee’s site visits will be held from May to August. The winners will be announced in September.
The winners of the competition, aimed at promoting community participation in forest development and expanding Thailand’s green areas, will win HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s trophy and a certificate, as well as a Bt200,000 forest-conservation fund. There will be 141 prizes in total.
Pongdith said the programme would boost community participation in forest conservation and support the creation and expansion of a network comprising the government sector, the private sector and communities to protect the country’s community forests, create a more sustainable forest ecology and foster sustainable forest development.
The contest has run since 2008. Winners of the top award in that and subsequent years were the Khao Wong Community Forest, Nong Bua Rawe district, Chaiyaphum province; the Baan Ta Pa Pao Community Forest, Mae Tha district, Lamphun; Baan Huay Rai Burapa Community Forest, Nong Wua So district, Udon Thani; Baan Klang Community Forest, Muang district, Phang Nga; Baan Huay Sapan Samakkee Community Forest, Phanom Thuan district, Kanchanaburi; and Baan Dong Huay Yen Community Forest in Ban Hong district, Lamphun.
The six winners demonstrated leading forest management and development plans that encourage public participation for national forest and environmental conservation aimed at the creation of community benefits in accordance with the sufficiency-economy philosophy.