24 July 2023

Thai Conservation of Forest Foundation (TCOF), a charitable organization established and supported by Electricity Generating Public Company Limited or EGCO Group to promote natural resources and watershed forest conservation for over 20 years, signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Royal Forest Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Both parties agreed to mutually promote sustainable forest conservation in Thailand’s watershed forest areas under the “Conservation and Rehabilitation of Natural Resources in Watershed and Community Forests Cooperation”.

The scope of the MoU covers six areas. They include 1) conservation and rehabilitation of forest, ecology system, and biodiversity in national reserved forests, community forests, and land use allocation for community project under government’s policy through cooperation with the Royal Forest Department and local communities; 2) promotion of participatory reforestation in state-owned areas through carbon credit mechanism; 3) promotion of natural trail and signage development in recreational forest areas; 4) support for the Royal Forest Department officials and activities related to promotion and conservation of forest resources; 5) creation and expansion of community and youth networks to encourage participation in forest resources conservation; 6) support for research, study, and people development to promote conservation of natural resources and biodiversity in forest areas.

Mr. Thepparat Theppitak, Chairman of the Board of TCOF and President of EGCO Group, said that TCOF has been working continuously for over 20 years in driving sustainable conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources and watershed forests which are the origin of lives and energy. Based on the belief that “People exit, Forests exit”, TCOF has worked closely with all concerned parties, especially related agencies and local communities. The foundation recently signed a 5-year MoU (2023-2027) with the Royal Forest Department with an aim to leverage and further expand on existing projects to cover more dimensions in forest conservation. The foundation’s goal is to cooperate with the government sector, community networks, and youth networks in forest conservation and usage optimization in a sustainable manner. This includes rehabilitation of over 5,000 rai of degraded forests and areas where agroindustry has been developed, and rehabilitation of over 20,000 rai of forest in 10 targeted communities through carbon credit mechanism. Its projects are introduced and continued in three provinces – Chiang Mai, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Chaiyaphum.

EGCO Group, the founder and supporter of TCOF, also participates in promoting and enhancing communities’ capability in forest management and better quality of life in a more sustainable manner. To achieve these goals, the company has supported Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Program (T-VER) – Forest and Green Area.

“The cooperation between the Royal Forest Department and TCOF will strengthen and enhance efficiency of nationwide networks dedicated to conservation of natural resources and watershed forests. It also supports and expands TCOF’s activities in Chiang Mai, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Chaiyaphum to further cover parts of the area under the Royal Forest Department, which makes conservation of watershed forests continuous and more sustainable. The foundation’s commitment to maintaining and rehabilitating forest areas through carbon credit mechanism will become a major driver encouraging the people sector and local communities to protect and responsibly use the ecology system of their neighboring forests. In return, they will enjoy opportunities and profit. At the same time, it will play an important role in enabling EGCO Group to achieve its Net Zero goal by 2050,” said Mr. Thepparat.

Mr. Surachai Achalaboon, Director General of the Royal Forest Department, added that cooperation with the government, private, and public sectors is a key to successful natural resources and environment management as well as community forest development. The recent cooperation between the two organizations is developed on same practices – participatory forest resources management, and harmony living of people and forests. This also enables the Royal Forest Department to achieve its goal under the 20-year national strategy in increasing forest and green areas to cover 55% of the entire nation, establishing 15,000 community forests covering at least 10 million rai and with 18,000 participating villages by 2027. The ultimate goal is to engage local communities as much as possible in protecting and conserving natural resources, the environment, and rich biodiversity of Thailand. The Royal Forest Department is pleased and committed to supporting TCOF’s activities under this MoU.