Nan, Thailand, 24 February 2022 — A forest community in northern Thailand celebrated the launch of a crowdfunding mechanism that will help other community groups in Thailand restore their forest landscape and increase their incomes.
Tree for All is a collaborative platform for crowdfunding designed to restore forest landscapes by closing a funding gap for smallholder farmers and engage private sector companies and the general public in sponsoring tree planting.
The Rak Santisuk Group in Thailand’s northern Nan Province initiated Tree for All with the international organization RECOFTC and local partners in Santisuk District. They hope to scale up forest landscape restoration in the province and the country and provide a financial incentive to farmers.
Tree for All will raise funds for reforestation with donations starting at 100 Thai baht (US$3) to sponsor tree planting of native species that can support the livelihoods of communities living in or near forests. The donations will incentivize these communities to increase areas under forest cover, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon. They will grow seedlings from their community forest, propagate good-quality seeds and sell them for additional income. They can also use the planted trees as financial collateral to expand their livelihoods.
All funds will be managed by a committee and given to local farmers who want to reduce monoculture farming areas and increase the area under forest cover in Nan.
Nan Province is home to a forest ecosystem of vital importance to Thailand’s largest watershed, the Chao Phraya River. Due to agricultural land conversion in this forested province, soil and sediments released into the river threaten the health of the ecosystem.
The Tree for All launch was celebrated in Sri Ban Boon Ruang in Santisuk, Nan, the first community to benefit from the Tree for All initiative. “We can return the land to the diverse and plentiful plants that used to thrive in it,” said Atthiwat Sutham, Rak Santisuk Group speaker and Ban Sri Boon Ruang community representative at the launch. “And we can protect the ecosystem while creating benefits for our community and for all of Thailand.”
Each donation pays for five years of care and an online database that lets funders follow the growth of the trees. An online database stores the tree registration, the geographic coordinates of the location and photos from the planting.
Tree for All is hosted on the crowdfunding site for community-led social projects, Taejai.com.
“We wanted to build a direct channel for companies and individuals to work together with communities,” said Sunit Shrestha, Change Fusion Managing Director, who founded Taejai. “The private sector and the public want assurance that communities have a clear way to measure the impact of work on forest preservation and restoration. Tree for All gives that assurance.”
RECOFTC helped Rak Santisuk Group develop the initiative under the forest landscape restoration initiative FLOURISH, which is funded by the German Government through its International Climate Initiative. Tree for All is co-funded by the European Union.
“To tackle the challenges of climate change and other risks, we must ensure that the forest rights of local communities are protected and exercised through collaborative management,” said Chandra Silori, RECOFTC Deputy Executive Director. “I look forward to seeing the Tree for All initiative gain momentum and deliver the impact it aims to achieve for forest communities in Nan.”
Sucharat Sathapornanon, Communication Officer, RECOFTC Thailand, email@example.com
Sandra McGuire, Director of Knowledge Management and Strategic Communication, RECOFTC, firstname.lastname@example.org
RECOFTC strives for a future where people live equitably and sustainably in and beside healthy, resilient forests. It takes a long-term, landscape-based and inclusive approach to supporting local communities to secure their land and resource rights, stop deforestation, find alternative livelihoods and foster gender equity. It is the only non-profit organization of its kind in Asia and the Pacific. With more than 30 years of experience working with people and forests, RECOFTC has built trusting relationships with partners at all levels. Its influence and partnerships extend from multilateral institutions to governments, private sector and local communities. RECOFTC’s innovations, knowledge and initiatives enable countries to foster good forest governance, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change. For more information, visit www.recoftc.org.
FLOURISH is an innovative forest landscape restoration initiative that uses market forces combined with community forestry to combat climate change, restore degraded forests and improve the well-being of forest communities. It is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Energy through the International Climate Initiative. FLOURISH pilots are under way in four landscapes in three Mekong countries: Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The lessons learned at these sites will help to improve forest landscape restoration in the Asia–Pacific region and worldwide. For more information, visit www.recoftc.org/projects/flourish.