Spread across thousands of acres, primarily in the iconic provinces of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Amnat Charoen, and Yasothon, lies a digital gold mine of carbon credit-bearing forests. This expansive terrestrial asset is set to provide an innovative income stream for an estimated 12,000 families, who will serve as guardians of these invaluable ecosystems.
The Mae Fah Luang Foundation, an advocate of sustainable development, has been at the fore of these game-changing initiatives since 2020. Through a dynamic collaboration with 14 prestigious corporations and an array of community groups countrywide, they’ve paved the way for Thailand to become a major player in global carbon credit trading. Furthermore, this groundbreaking framework empowers local communities, guiding them toward sustainable economic growth.
When the veil was drawn on this project in its embryonic stages between 2020 and 2022, 52 communal forests encompassing just over 50,000 rai took centre-stage. This action signed on a remarkable 12,361 households to the initiative, setting a solid foundation for the unfolding carbon credit saga.
Undeterred by any challenges, the project embarked on its dynamic second phase this year. Its influence expanded the reach beyond its inaugural participants to now encompass a staggering 77 forests. This upscaling brought the total forested space to 129, more than double the starting figure. This meteoric growth is attributable to the unwavering support from public entities and business partners who shared the same vision as Dispanadda.
At present, these collective community forests spread across approximately 200,000 rai, with the potential of offsetting 500,000 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide annually. This broad-spectrum benefit will be embraced by roughly 25,000 households, a clear indication of the project’s expansive positive gauges.
Embodying the true spirit of an ecocentric visionary, the Foundation set its sights on integrating an additional 150,000 rai of forestland into the project by next year. Achieving this ambitious goal will push Thailand’s carbon credit generation output closer to the impressive target of 1 million tonnes per annum by 2027.
“The driving force behind the initiation of this unique project was to pioneer a new pathway for income generation for communities. In the next decade, we anticipate an output reaching between 500 and 630 million baht,” stated Dispanadda. Further echoing the wide-ranging benefits of this initiative, he highlighted the significant reduction of forest fires due to effective forest maintenance.
According to Dispanadda, the project’s areas reported a decrease in forest fires by 6,500 rai in the previous year, a substantial decline compared to the prior year. This reduction represents an economic saving for the country amounting to an estimated 191 million baht.
Born in 1972, the Mae Fah Luang Foundation remains dedicated philanthropic private non-profit organization with the sole mission of elevating the living standards of the underprivileged and those devoid of opportunities. Its footprint extends beyond the boundaries of Thailand, making palpable impacts across various Asian countries.