Northern forests to rise from ashes with mass replanting


The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has revealed plans to heal northern forests which have been left badly scared by this year’s burning season, the Royal Forest Department revealed on Monday (April 20). 

The recovery plan involves all sectors – government, private and civic, said the department’s director general Atthaphon Charoenchansa. 

The effort will be a mass planting campaign to reforest damaged areas with more than 10 million seedlings of padauk, teak, rosewood and other economically valuable tree species, he said 

The department plans to plant the seedlings in May, on and around National Tree Day, with activities reaching a climax on May 21, added Atthaphon. 

The Royal Forest Department revealed that the number of hotspots detected in the North on Sunday (April 19) fell to 28. The improvement was attributed to recent thunderstorms as well as cooperation between officials and locals. 

Fires have destroyed 55,266 rai or 0.18 per cent of a total 30.148 million rai of national forest in recent weeks, an area roughly equal to the size of 9,000 football pitches. Chiang Mai province suffered the most damage, with 17,771 rupees burned. 

A total of 963 cases of forest burning were prosecuted between March 30 and April 17, the director general said.