PDA 60:     /1994                                                                      July,    1994    

 

Dear Mark,

Enclosed please find the five-year carbon sequestration project proposal based on our conversation in Bangkok. We had initially targeted for 10 villages in the northeast with each village developing at least 4 hectares each. We have reduced our target as the budget for 10 villages would far exceed the limits we have discussed during our conversation. This project will develop 4 hectares in 4 villages and will cost approximately 576,000 baht.

Should there be matters that need to be further elaborated, please do not hesitate to let us know. Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

 

Wilas Techo

enc.
f:carbon.wp
d:einst

 

 

Project Title:                       Community Afforestation Project
                                          A Carbon Sequestration Project

Project Objective:               To off-set the emission of carbon dioxide caused                                            by burning fossil fuel by the establishment of                                            conservation forest areas

Project Holder:                   Population and Community Development                                           Association (PDA)

 

Project Location:                 Northeastem Region of Thailand

Project Duration:                 Five (5) years starting in 1995

Project Budget:                   576,000 Thai Baht

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

As the world's population increases, man uses up more resources to fuel its activities. Petroleum, natural gas and other fossil fuels as well as biomass are used to heat homes, cook food, illuminate houses and streets, and run machinery. Burning fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide (CO2) which leads to the net increase of this gas' concentration in the atmosphere and could possibly contribute to global warming. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas account for 68% of this emission equivalent to some 5.5 billion tons of carbon per annum. In order to halt the increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere a compensatory mechanism must be found to off-set C02 produced by burning fossil fuels.

Most government policies respond to the potentially adverse consequences of global climatic change by focusing primarily on hindering emissions rather than on halting them. An emerging trend/concept in reversing the emission of C02 is carbon sequestration - which essentially means trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide in a form where it will not be immediately released back into the atmosphere. One of the most efficient ways of sequestering CO2 is by planting trees.

The Population and Community Development Association (PDA), the largest non-governmental organization in Thailand, which has 20 years of experience in community development and 10 years of experience in community forestry is proposing to join hands with Carbon Busters (Japan) to test a carbon sequestration pilot project. The initial project will cover a total of 4 villages in the northeastern region of Thailand where reforestation is needed most.

Through reforestation of heavily deforested rural areas in 4 villages in the Northeast of Thailand, this project will address two major areas that have been central to His Royal Majesty the King of Thailand's interests and work: environmental conservation and improving the welfare of the Thai people, particularly in rural villages. Conservation forests of hardwoods, which will not be cut, will increase forest cover which may help in increasing rainfall in the Northeast, Thailand's driest region, as well as fix carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels.

This project will require the planting of a mix of tree species or the nurturing of naturally growing forest tree seedlings growing in grass lands that are prone to fire. A strong emphasis will be put on community participation which will ensure that the community forests survive and meet the needs of both villagers and project objective of carbon bank establishment. The villagers will participate in site selection, land preparation, caring for seedlings before planting, planting the seedlings, and caring for the newly planted trees over a ive year period and onwards.

As an incentive to protect newly planted trees, PDA will provide a bonus to the village revolving fund in each of the first five years after planting according to the survival rate of the planted trees. After those initial five years, the trees will not require such care. The funds accumulated in the village revolving fund will be administered by the village forest committee and utilized for additional community development activities which will further reduce villagers need for extracting resources from wooded land.

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   Population and Community Development Association
   (PDA)

   Community Afforestation Project:
   A Carbon Sequestration Project

   A comprehensive component of
   The Carbon Bank Establishment


I. INTRODUCTION

As the world's population increases, man uses up more resources to fuel its activities. Petroleum, natural gas and other fossil fuels as well as biomass are used to heat homes, cook food, illuminate houses and streets, and run machineries. By burning these different types of fuel, carbon dioxide (CO2) is liberated into the atmosphere.

One characteristic of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is that it acts as a sort of greenhouse in that it traps the sun's radiant heat on the surface of the earth rather than re-radiating it back into space - and so the term greenhouse effect. Other greenhouse gases exists notably, methane, nitrogen oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. The most significant contributor to the buildup of greenhouse gases, however, is the liberation of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuel for energy.

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas account for 68 % of this emission or some 5.5 billion tons of carbon per annum. In order to halt the increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere which is said to be the primary cause of global warming a compensatory mechanism must be found to off-set the CO2 emission.

Most government policies respond to the potentially adverse consequences of global climatic change but focus primarily on hindering emissions rather than on halting them¹. An emerging trend/concept in reversing the emission of C02 is carbon sequestration - which essentially means trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide in a form where it will not be immediately released back into the atmosphere. One of the most efficient ways of sequestering C02 is by planting trees.

The Population and Community Development Association (PDA) the largest nongovernmental organization in Thailand, which has 20 years of experience in community development and 10 years of experience in community forestry is proposing to pioneer in the a carbon sequestration

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¹Cited from "The Potential Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture" in the article by John Bongaarts entitled Can the growing human population feed itself , Scientific American. March 1994. pp. 18-24.

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project. PDA's forestry related projects have been able to improve the livelihood of villagers and increase the amount of forest/tree cover in the rural areas. One component we have been successful in is finding alternate sources of livelihood to forest encroachment. This is done by developing the skills of villagers and assisting them in the initial stages of a budding entrepreneurial activity.

PDA's development principle is to involve communities in order to guarantee successful reforestation efforts. Our several years of experience in the field has led it to refine the technical and managerial capabilities of reforestation project staff to maximize the effectiveness of village forestry activities.

This five year pilot project will initially be implemented in 4 villages in the northeastern region of Thailand. Five hectares of land per village will be planted to a combination of hardwood, fast-growing and fruit trees. The minimum target population of hardwood trees per hectare of land in about 600 or a total of 3,000 trees per village. After this initial pilot phase, the project will be extended to 5,000 villages. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed will be monitored regularly through out the duration of the project².

Fields of Operation/Project Experience

The Population and Community Development Association (PDA) was originally founded in 1974 as the Community-Based Family Planning Service (CBFPS). The organization's initial mission was to complement the efforts of the Royal Thai Government to promote family planning in urban and rural areas of Thailand where knowledge and access to such services were scarce. Using a community-based strategy, PDA recruited and trained respected members of rural villages and urban neighborhoods to provide information and distribute affordable contraceptives directly in their communities. This extensive community-based distribution network of family planning volunteers now covers one-third of the entire nation, and has contributed significantly to the decrease in the fertility rate in Thailand from 3.2% in 1970 to 1.3% in 1993.

The success of PDA's community-based approach to family planning encouraged the Association to adapt the strategy to other development needs in Thailand. Since 1979, PDA has implemented a variety of integrated health and community development programs throughout the country. Today, family planning is but one small component of PDA's programs which include primary health care, water resources development, environmental sanitation, transfer of agricultural techniques, environmental conservation, community forestry, small scale industries, local development institution building, AIDS prevention, training, and research and evaluation. PDA has also tapped the skills and support of the corporate sector through the Thai Business Initiative in Rural Development (TBIRD) to participate directly in rural development and AIDS prevention efforts.

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²At this point the amount of carbon dioxide cannot be estimated as the species to be planted has not yet been decided.

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The following are brief descriptions of some of PDA's many activities:

a. Integrated Family Planning and Primary Health Care   PDA clinics and mobile health vans extend family planning and primary health care services into both rural and urban communities. PDA's established network of family planning volunteers provide family planning, parasite infection prevention and drug distribution services in an integrated manner.

PDA operates clinics in Bangkok and other major cities in Thailand to provide family planning services and consultation. Mobile clinics are also regularly organized to travel to factories, schools, and slum areas, bringing inexpensive health services to the people.

Family planning counselling is available for adolescents. Through PDA's Youth to Youth Programs, teenagers counsel their peers on family planning and sex-related issues.

b. Village Involvement - Community Based Integrated Rural Development (CBIRD) The CBIRD Program aims to improve the socioeconomic conditions faced by rural villagers. At this time, there are now eight CBIRD centers operating throughout North and Northeast Thailand. Activities are demonstrated at the CBIRD centers, and subsequently implemented in project villages. These activities include family planning, environmental sanitation, animal husbandry, water resource development, community forestry and alternative skill development. The centers also aim to strengthen village institutions and their social infrastructure by assisting villagers in forming village and district level cooperatives and farmers' groups.

c. Water Resource Development   PDA emphasizes local participation and contribution in order to achieve a sustainable form of community development. This strategy has been used in the "Tungnam" rainwater tank, water jars, and latrines construction projects since their inception, and remains a part of the proposed WRD/ES Phase IV. After receiving training, villagers assume full responsibility for maintaining and financing of these activities. As needed, PDA provides on-going technical advice and consultancy services to villager committees administering these projects.

d. Environmental Conservation   Diminished land productivity and the depletion of natural resources continue to be a major environmental problem. Many subsistence and small farmers encroach on forests for crop cultivation, and practice inappropriate agricultural techniques because they lack economic alternatives. Through its environmental programs, PDA attempts to resolve villagers' difficulties by providing loans for alternative income-generating activities and by creating an awareness of the importance of preserving natural resources. In addition, PDA offers training in sound agricultural practices to decrease the rate of soil erosion and to improve soil quality.

e. Sky Irrigation   This latest project of PDA aims to duplicate earlier models of providing a source of livelihood to landless rural farmers by developing a system of

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water tank reservoirs for irrigation. A total of 30 such systems will be constructed over the next three years in the Northeastern part of Thailand where drought normally lasts from six to eight months. With adequate water for year round cultivation, farmers will be able to earn a living in their village instead of being forced to migrate to large cities to look for employment.

f. Company-Village Partnership -  Thai Business Initiative in Rural Development (TBIRD)    TBIRD is an innovative approach in rural development aimed to mobilize the corporate sector to bring business expertise to rural villages through a village adoption program. The net result is to help bridge the growing gap between the urban rich and rural poor in Thailand. Through TBIRD, companies can effectively contribute their wealth of resources and information to make people and land more productive.

g. AIDS Prevention    PDA's AIDS prevention program seeks to involve everyone from government ministers to rural villagers in the fight against this deadly epidemic. These programs target women, commercial sex workers, individuals who solicit commercial sex, youth and institutional leaders. PDA has been a leader in piloting new AIDS educational techniques and materials, training individuals and organizations, advocating the rights of people with AIDS, and pushing to institutionalize more effective AIDS policies in all sectors of Thai society.

h. Information Services    PDA provides consulting services such as program feasibility studies, design of monitoring systems and program evaluations internally and to outside organizations.

i. Training -     The Asian Center for Population and Community Development (ACPD) ACPD offers a series of comprehensive international training courses on a wide range of development topics. Over 2000 participants from 45 different countries have been trained in the center facilities since ACPD was established in 1978. Additionally, about 7300 guests from 54 countries have participated in PDA's orientations, field observations, and study tours requested by individuals or small groups of visitors.

i. Cooperation/Coordination with Other Institutions.    PDA cooperates and coordinates with various national and international institutions: governments, non- governmental organizations (NGOs), and businesses.

II. BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE

The Population and Community Development Association (PDA) the largest non-governmental organization in Thailand, which has 20 years of experience in community development and 10 years of experience in community forestry is proposing to join hands with Carbon Busters (Japan) to test a carbon sequestration pilot project. Through reforestation of heavily deforested rural areas in 4 villages in the Northeast of Thailand, this project will address two major areas

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that have been central to His Majesty the King of Thailand's interests and work: environmental conservation, and improving the welfare of the Thai people, particularly in rural villages. Conservation forests of hardwoods, which will not be cut, will bring back the traditional role of forests as food producers and creators of moist air which increases much needed rainfall in the Northeast, Thailand's driest region.

Based on it's ten years of experience in reforestation efforts in the Northeast, PDA offers to Carbon Busters (Japan) it's knowledge of local conditions, the trust of the villagers and local government officials gained by working together on previous projects, technical expertise in forestry, and a network of Community Based Integrated Rural Development (CBIRD) Centers which have the operational capacity to carry out the project.

PDA proposes to the concept of carbon sequestration in villages with the help of Carbon Busters (Japan). This project will require the planting of a mix of tree species or the nurturing of naturally growing forest tree seedlings growing in grass lands that are prone to fire. A strong emphasis will be put on community participation which will ensure that the community forests survive and meet the needs of both villagers and project objective of carbon bank establishment. The villagers will participate in site selection, land preparation, caring for seedlings before planting, planting the seedlings, and caring for the newly planted trees over a five year period and onwards.

As an incentive to protect newly planted trees, PDA will provide a bonus to the village revolving fund in each of the first five years after planting according to the survival rate of the planted trees. After those initial five years, the trees will not require such care. The funds accumulated in the village revolving fund will be administered by the village forest committee and utilized for additional community development activities.

Environmental Constraints:

The northeastern region of Thailand is the most arid region of the country, experiencing 6-to-8 month dry season annually. Growing conditions in this area are further complicated by saline ground water. Irrigation as a means of assisting tree survival cannot be relied upon. Thus, we will select indegenous tree species, especially those which are tolerant to both drought and saline soil conditions.

Figure 1 shows the amount of forest cover per province in the Northeastern region of Thailand.

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 ChartObject Forest Cover of Northeastern Provinces
(data as of 1988)

III. COMMUNITY AFFORESTATION PROGRAM

A variety of strategies could be used in this project depending on the type of land that is available for reforestation. Three models are presented in this project proposal.

A. VILLAGE-BASED FOREST MODEL

PDA proposes to implement community afforestation on 4 hectares of public land in each village as it offers alternative employment to people whose only other income is from cash crop cultivation (mainly rainfed rice).

After consulting villagers, an appropriate site will be selected for this project. Usually, each village is allocated a piece of public land which is mainly reserved for a community forest. Very often, however, these public land is encroached on and have been cultivated by villagers or have been used as pasture. Once villagers agree not to disturb this land, the project can commence. PDA, upon consultation with villagers, will determine a combination of hardwood, fast-growing and fruit tree species to be planted at an average planting density of 4 m. by 4 m. - or about 600 trees per hectare.

During the first five years, PDA will provide the participating villages with bonus payments according to the survival rate of the planted trees as incentive to nurture them and ensure a maximum survival rate. The incentive payments will contributed to the village revolving fund and the village forest committee can decide how to utilize those funds for additional community development activities such as funding income generating activities like food vending or development of skills like sewing or vehicle maintenance. After five years, the tree will not require such incentive care and will be able to survive on their own. PDA will remain involved with these villages and their community forests by monitoring their progress on regular basis and assisting the village forest committee in managing these village forests.

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B. REHABILITATION OF DEGRADED FOREST LAND MODEL

Another reforestation approach on which Carbon Bank Establishment can consider is the rehabilitation of degraded forest lands. Similar to the village based approach described above, PDA emphasizes community participation in rehabilitating these encroached forest areas. By involving the villagers in replanting process and providing them with incentives and reasonable compensation, the PDA efforts seem to overcome the main obstacles facing similar government programs.

The rehabilitation of degraded forest lands basically follows the same process as the village based model with basic adaptations to the specific site regarding the presence and participation of local communities. Unlike the first model, this approach will require the planting of forest tree species only which are adopted to the environmental conditions of the site.

 

C. ASSISTED NATURAL REGENERATION (ANR)

This reforestation strategy is based on the principles of plant succession (Sajise, et al 1990)³. Under undisturbed (i.e., fire free) conditions, forest regenerate naturally. Thus, instead of traditional reforestation that prescribes the planting of climax species on the first year - which makes them very vulnerable to fire under Imperata-dominated grassland conditions - ANR proposes that naturally occurring pioneer species be allowed to grow first. ANR assists their growth through liberation weeding and fire control. These pioneer species provide a better microenvironment for the subsequently planted climax species and enhances the survival of a reforestation project. In areas where the density of pioneer species are low, enrichment planting may be done.

This strategy is said to be being tested in several locations in Thailand such as Doi Pu-kha in Nan province, Ban Leang Forest, Ban Tha Wang Sai Forest, Wat Bung Yai reforestation project in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Dong Yai Community in Ubon Rachathani and Ban Pa Kha Suk Jai on Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai province.

One advantage of this strategy is that biodiversity is guaranteed which results in a healthier forest when compared to reforestation projects which uses a limited number of tree species.

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³Sajise,
Percy; L. Arenas; J. Duma; L. Floresca; W. Gruezo and F. Lansingan. 1990. Assisted Natural Regeneration:  Working with nature as reforestation strategy (unpublished manual). Rainfed Resources and Development Project and Institute of Environment Science and Management, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.

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D. IMPLEMENTATION

In order to implement an effective and sustainable reforestation program, for either the Village Based Model or Rehabilitation of the Degraded Forest Land Model, a budget of Baht 60 per tree is required. The implementation process is reflected in the financial requirement, as follows:

Activities Year Total (Baht)
1 2 3 4 5

1 Community preparation

5 3     4 12

2 Seedlings

10 5       15

3 Survival Incentive

3 3 3 3 3 15

4 Project Management

4 4 3 4 4 18
Total 22

15

6 11 11 60

The afforestation program for either model will be implemented according to the following steps:

1. Community Preparation

To ensure community participation in reforestation efforts, PDA staff will travel to the selected project villages to meet with the villagers and village leaders, to establish the village forest committee, and organize land preparation activities. PDA staff will design and produce promotional materials for the project and liaise with local government authorities to ensure cooperation from government agencies.

2. Seedlings

PDA will purchase seedlings of a variety of hardwood, fast growing and fruit tree species from village nurseries, private and RFD nurseries, as appropriate. An average price of Baht 15 per seedling, including transportation has been budgeted for seedling purchase. Some of fast growing tree species may be lower price, but some hardwood may be higher. The hardwood trees will be planted 4 m. by 4 m. intervals (about 600 trees per hectare) with fast growing tree planted in between. Fruit trees and bamboo will be integrated where appropriate and in cases where village forest committees have adequate plans to care for these trees and distribute the benefits gained from them.

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Transporting and handling the seedlings prior to planting are critical. The villagers will handle the seedlings after they are transported to the villages by shading and watering them. Immediately prior to planting, the seedlings will need to be "hardened" in order to minimize transplanting shock. The budget allocation for seedlings will cover all of these associated costs. Planting will be as early as on rainy season eg. mid May - September each year. Supplemental planting will take place in year 2 to replace any seedlings that did not survive the first dry season.

3. Survival Incentives

As an incentive to care for the newly-planted seedlings and maximize their survival rate, PDA will offer incentive payments corresponding to the number of surviving seedlings during each of the first five years of the project. This bonus payment will be contributed to the village revolving fund. For the first 5 years, Baht 3 will be paid for each surviving seedling every year. Each village has the opportunity to earn a total of Baht 15 per tree through these incentives at 100% survival, or Baht 36,000 for 4 hectare of community forest plot.

The village forest committee will determine how the incentive payments shall be used for additional community development activities. In the case of high rate mortality, the incentive payment will be used to purchase supplemental seedling for re- planting, and if it found that no proper management, this village will be stopped the project.

4. Management

PDA staff will coordinate all aspects of project planning, implementation, monitoring and financial control through PDA's eleven (11) field offices in the north, northeast and central. PDA staff will report quarterly on the progress of the project and the status of the community forests with operating financial reports. PDA will provide certified financial reports on project activities on annual basis.

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D. BUDGET

Although discussion on project site and scope are not yet concluded, at Baht 60 per tree is calculated and an estimated 4 hectare per village- the following budget guideline may be helpful:

No of Villages Area (Hectares) Number of trees Budget (@60 Thai Baht/tree)
1 4 2,400 144,000
4 16 9,600 576,000
10 40 24,00 1,440,000
1000 400 240,000 14,400,000
1,000 4,000 2,400,000 144,000,000


E. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

A monitoring system will be design to assess the amount of C02 absorbed. Regular girth measurements at breast height. Measures to ensure good tree growth must be applied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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