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Ban Non Thong and Ban Nong Muang Carbon Bank Project


Location: Buriram, Thailand
Donor: Carbon Free Program
Date: 2007-2008
No. of trees planted: planted (to date): 43,370 Trees

Objectives

  1. sequester CO2
  2. reforestation
  3. micro finance
  4. environmental education

Project Overview

This project is funded by PATT through donations from our Premium Carbon Free offset programme. It is undertaken in collaboration with the internationally renowned Population and community Development Association (PDA). The project involves tree planting to restore a community forest on abandoned, marginal land for restoration of biodiversity, carbon sequestration and as a community resource.

We also implement training and capacity building initiatives related to sustainable forest management within the village, and have set up a tree nursery managed by the youth committee. Funding will also be allocated for the establishment of a village cooperative micro credit bank, and additional programmes aimed at combating environmental issues, poverty, gender inequality, and urban migration.

Project Details

Rural locations in the Northeast of Thailand have suffered from both economic and environmental decline for many years. This innovative project aims to tackle both of these issues whilst also addressing the global issue of climate change. Access to credit is a way to alleviate poverty in rural areas through small business development. Without impartial lending services such as community banks, poverty is perpetuated through extremely high interest rates dictated by the village “big bosses.” The exponential interest rates of these personal loans are insurmountable and drive poor villagers into a situation they will never be able to escape. Our project partner (PDA) has helped with the creation of over 600 village banks in Thailand. The outcome of the PDA Village Bank program is the same as in traditional micro credit operations: villagers are able to climb free from debt because of lower interest rates. The main difference is that the villagers keep the proceeds of their hard work as the bank is a cooperative, owned and managed by the villagers.

PATTs Premium Carbon Offset donations are directed to this project; money is provided to the community bank in exchange for community wide environmental initiatives (tree planting within a community forest). Further deposits are made incrementally after annual monitoring of the community forest. The villagers are essentially the forest managers and training is provided to ensure the asset is managed correctly and that the forest will sequester the amount of CO2 we have based our calculations on.

The village bank that results from the establishment of the community forest aims to encourage savings and business startups while promoting social and gender equality initiatives. Elected villagers, 50% of which will be women, will be trained to manage the affairs of the bank. Villagers can borrow from the bank to start new businesses, and to expand existing businesses. Lack of reasonable lending sources was a major drain on savings in the area and has limited the amount of capital villagers have to rebuild and develop. In order to be eligible to join the village bank, villagers need to demonstrate a commitment to saving a certain amount per month according to their abilities. Villager savings are deposited into the village bank and serve as another source of capital for the bank.

village development programme

Main aims of the project:

  • Restore an area of degraded land back to a thriving, bio-diverse ecosystem through the planting of key local tree species.
  • Increase forest cover and combat climate change through the sequestration of CO2 from the atmosphere. Trees make up the protected carbon sink.
  • Increase forestry capacity and education on climate change at local level.
  • Ensure the context of the linkages between forestry and climate is understood more widely by the community.
  • Enable local to global understanding
  • Raise awareness through education of the selected youth committee to show that sustainable environmental practices can also lead to sustainable income generation and can therefore be a long-term solution to the search for rural opportunities.
  • Establish a village development committee and village youth council for local governance of the community for community voices to be expressed.
  • Establish a village bank, with training support on how to manage the community forest, to provide credit for income generating activities and to encourage savings practices.
  • Support implementation of projects as prioritized by the village development plan.

Project Partner:

Population and community Development Association

2009 UN SEED Award Winner:

2009 un seed award winner