Critical Conservation Efforts – Kuan Kreng’s role as a significant carbon sink is vital for both biodiversity and climate health. This underscores the importance of the collaborative efforts between GIZ Thailand and local authorities for its conservation.
Innovative Drone Training by SUPA – This initiative has successfully trained 30 operators in advanced drone technology, significantly improving peatland and fire management.
Community Empowerment for Conservation – The project has also been instrumental in transforming over 300 community leaders into proactive stewards of the peat forests, setting a benchmark in sustainable environmental guardianship.
In November, the Sustainable Use of Peatlands and Haze Mitigation in ASEAN (SUPA) project, a cornerstone initiative in Thailand, marked remarkable progress in conservation. Centred around the Kuan Kreng peat swamp forest in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, the project conducted sophisticated drone training for local professionals with the aim of elevating ecosystem management. Simultaneously, it focused on educating and mobilising the local community for nature’s sustainable conservation.
The comprehensive four-day ‘train the trainers’ programmes were tailored to equip 30 forest fire control station operators with cutting-edge skills in drone technology. This technology is pivotal for the monitoring and sustainable management of peatland forests and forest fires. The Kuan Kreng peat forest, a vital wetland in the Songkhla Lake Basin, can store up to 29 million tonnes of carbon per hectare, highlighting its global environmental importance.
These training sessions represent a holistic approach to fostering a deep understanding of sustainable ecosystem management among participants. The deployment of over 10 high-performance drones, supported by the SUPA project, along with modern forest fire control tools, is a transformative step. It significantly enhances the safety of forest fire control personnel and reduces risks to the delicate peat swamp forests, essential for biodiversity, local livelihoods, and the economy.
Team of Change: The dedicated faces of Thailand’s SUPA project, ready to take conservation to new heights with cutting-edge drone technology for peatland management.
Recognising that lasting conservation success hinges on community engagement, the SUPA project has also concentrated on training community leaders and local representatives in innovative monitoring and management techniques.
Over 300 participants, including community leaders from various regions, received extensive training. They were taught to utilize water level data, satellite imagery, and GPS systems, in line with the SUPA project’s implementation of an intelligent water metering system covering the entire Kuan Kreng peat forest.
This community network training is designed to cultivate a sense of ownership and accountability among locals. The aim is to establish a vigilant and proactive community network, integral to supporting government efforts in forest and fire management. This community movement is key to developing a sustainable forest and fire management model, ensuring the preservation and health of these peatlands.
Overall, these activities embody a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to environmental conservation in Thailand. By merging advanced technology with professional training and emphasizing the pivotal role of community engagement, these efforts present a sustainable model combining expertise, technology, and grassroots involvement. This strategy promises effective conservation of the Kuan Kreng peat swamp forest and similar ecosystems globally. It’s part of a broader scheme, including parallel projects in Indonesia and Malaysia.
SUPA, strategically backed by the EU and German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUV) through GIZ, is dedicated to the sustainable management of peatlands in ASEAN. With a 1 million Euro budget, this 2023-2024 project, in collaboration with Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, aims to realize the objectives of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS 2006-2020).
Community Vigilance: The SUPA project has proudly equipped local guardians with five long-tailed boats, steering towards enhanced surveillance and steadfast protection of Thailand’s peatlands.