Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CP Foods) is building community engagement in conserving and restoring mangrove forest under the “CPF Grow-Share-Protect Mangrove Forestation” Project by further developing eco-tourism destinations and community-based products in a bid to create sustainable income for local villagers.
“We want to encourage people in the community to see the benefit which derived from forest conservation and restoration through projects that generate income from tourism and sales of local products.” This has aspired them to understand the value of forest conservation,” said Chatchawan “Uncle Nui” Chaosamut, a villager of Bang Ya Phraek community in Samut Sakhon Province who earns from crafting a model fishing boats. He has been participating to increase and restore the mangrove forest program established by CP Foods since 2014.
According to his account, the mangrove areas of Bang Ya Phraek was almost a wasteland damaged by coastal erosion. It was opposite to current state of mangrove forests, an abundant forest with full of greens along the coastline.
He said that CP Foods has support the a mangrove forest conservation fund managed by the community’s own committees for developing projects, that way it can attract tourist and sell local goods to them. He added that the project has helped villagers to have a stable income while some parts of the profit go back to the fund to conserve the mangroves.
Chatchawan explained that Bang Ya Phraek people are salt farmers and fishermen. Therefore, it comes from the concept of using local natural materials such as salt to produce Herbal spa salt made from real salt flowers, mixed with 5 herbs, namely turmeric, sugarcane, Plai, Wan Nang Kham, and Thanaka, used for scrubbing the skin. The community also made biochar from fruit peels, twigs, and various laces.
Currently, the outbreak of COVID-19 has damaged the local economy as all the tourism activities are put on hold. However, the community confirmed that they are ready to continue to conserve the mangrove forest in the area. This is because everyone is aware that Mangrove forests are valuable natural resources to the community and ecosystem.
The villagers will also continue the Mangrove Forest Conservation Fund to manage the forest and build a career for many people in the community. This way, the fund will help the forest to achieve sustainability in both environmental preservation and economy.
For those interest in supporting the product from Bang Ya Phraek Community, please contact, Maytha Putkong, Tel. 095 -524 9245.