Thailand’s Mangrove forest, between 1961 and 1993, have been reduced from 367,900 ha to less than 168,676 ha by conversion to other uses, such as aquaculture, mining, settlement sites, ports and roads and salt ponds, the most significant being marine shrimp aquaculture.
Naucrates started to work on a small and rich community of mangrove forest at Phra Thong island, South Thailand, in 2002. A total of 25 species of mangroves and 8 of mangrove-associate species were discovered.
On 26 December 2004 delicate environmental balances was disturbed by tsunami causing sudden changes of the physical-chemical characteristics of the environment. After the devastating event, Naucrates in collaboration with Mangrove Action Project (MAP), started the Mangrove Restoration Project (MRP) aiming to study and recreate the original mangrove community in the area. Part of the programme was supported by ITF.
The project consists of continuing and developing restoration activities in order to make progress toward the slow restoration process of the area. The main objectives are to study the secondary succession and the pioneer community, to restore the mangrove forest (some plots) through plantation of seeds and seedlings by utilising natural volunteer mangrove.
In addition, mangrove activities will be conducted in the local village aiming to establish community conservation group who will be responsible for promoting of conservation amongst other community members; an educational path in the mangrove forest near the village will be developed in order to provide the villagers with knowledge and information that can be part of a pilot eco- responsible tourism program. Local guides will be trained on mangrove ecology and restoration.
Young children are involved in mangrove monitoring keeping record of their observations on the field.
In January 2008, most of the young mangrove trees planted three years ago, were observed growing fast and healthy contributing to the restoration of the forest that was completed destroyed by the tsunami.
Project partners: Mangrove Action Project
Read more: Project Background
Volunteer: Mangrove Restoration Project