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Source: Media Outreach

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 7 October 2020 – A total of 81 projects and business leaders across Asia were selected as recipients of the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2020 (AREA), which was an increase of 27% from last year. Widely regarded as the gold standard for CSR and sustainability practice, this year’s award ceremony was organized virtually due to the unprecedented global healthcare crisis. A diversity of industries and leading organizations from all over the region received the AREA, demonstrating a continued dedication to responsible business practices despite the pandemic.

Organized by Enterprise Asia, the leading non-governmental organization for responsible entrepreneurship in Asia, the AREA aims to recognize and honor Asian businesses and leaders for championing sustainable and socially responsible business practices. The award categories are Social Empowerment, Investment in People, Health Promotion, Green Leadership, Corporate Governance, Circular Economy Leadership and Responsible Business Leadership. Through the award ceremony, this unique opportunity has provided over 600 attendees to interconnect and celebrate virtually.

Company Introduction

PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited or PTTEP is Thailand’s leading exploration and production (E&P) Company with the mission to sustainably explore, secure energy resources and produce domestically and around the globe while generating satisfactory return to stakeholders.

The Forest Restoration for Eco-learning at Sri Nakhon Kuean Khan Park (Bang Kachao)

PTTEP, the Royal Forest Department and Kasetsart University have jointly initiated “The Forest Restoration for Eco-learning at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park (Bang Kachao)” project under the initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn since 2013. Bang Kachao, also known as Bangkok’s green lungs for its fresh and clean air, lies south of Bangkok in Samut Prakan Province. The area has a unique character and a great diversity of flora and fauna. The restoration project puts an emphasis on Bang Kachao’s ecological character and the principle of sustainability with the goal of creating a forest with a diversified forest structure and ecologically sustainable forest management, as well as, building an eco-learning network and furthering conservation efforts that will maintain these “green lungs” for the people of Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

Preserving the Environment for the Future
 
PTTEP has defined a framework to implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives globally in four themes, which are Basic Needs, Education, Environment and Culture. The Forest Restoration for Eco-learning at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park Project is one of PTTEP’s key projects to preserve the environment which reflects PTTEP’s commitment towards business sustainability in which economic, environmental, and social factors are integrated. This project was initiated under the strategic planning process including Stakeholder Analysis, Development of Strategic Projects, Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation.

The strategic plan was designed with three key drivers of project success which are:
1) To create an urban forest with a diversified forest structure and ecologically sustainable forest management by growing additional plants and threatened species with the forest rehabilitation process
2) To initiate a nature learning centre
3) To develop learning processes and promote ecological and cultural tourism unique to the area.

The project implementation comprised of Stakeholder Engagement, Green Space Development and Research Study. Realizing that the success of the project demands collaboration with various stakeholders, PTTEP has engaged among concerned parties include Chaipattana Foundation, the Office of Royal Projects, the Royal Forest Department, Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Forestry, Local Authority, Community and Local Academic Institution.

Achievements and Impact
 
Over the last 7 years since 2013, the program has generated impacts on society at large. In terms of Environmental Impact, this project has helped to create a forest with a diversified forest structure and ecologically sustainable forest management, as well as, building an eco-learning network.

A research conducted in 2011 by Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation and the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, showed that green space in Bang Kachao could absorb an average 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce six million tons of oxygen per day for the city of seven million people. The ecological research study conducted by Kasetsart University during 2014-2019 showed that the 23.68-hectare area of the park absorbed 1,360 tons of carbon dioxide.

The 6.4-hectare forest restoration consisting of three ecological systems, the project has planted 16,700 trees with 54 species resulting in the increasing number of tree species from 90 species in 2014 to 126 species in 2019 or 40% increase. As a direct result of the forest restoration at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park, the research also shows the increasing number of wildlife species from 29 species in 2014 to 38 wildlife species or 31% increase, plus over 100 species of birds or 40% increase accounting for about 10% of all bird species in Thailand. To date, 360 youth have participated in the “Youth Guide Volunteering” program which helped raise awareness on environmental conservation among the young generation.

In terms of economic impact, the survey shows the increasing number of visitors from 50,000 visitors in 2013 to 400,000 visitors in 2019. To date, there are over 1,000 disabled visitors. With this regard, the project helped increasing the average income of local communities from 285,575 THB or 9,200 USD per year before 2013 to 333,473 THB or 10,760 USD THB per year in 2018 or 17% increase.

In terms of Societal impact, this project has helped to promote the “Friendly Design” concept in Thailand to create nature classroom that is usable to everyone, regardless of their age or ability which has become a role model for others.

Future Direction
 
PTTEP will continue to work creatively under the concept of “Natural Classroom” by applying the knowledge bases on biodiversity and carbon absorption in the area of 23.68-hectare of forest restoration to improve the interpretive signs, as well as creating digital learning media and establishing research project to create innovations in natural resources and environment management for practical implementation in the area.

In addition, there are plans to improve the building to accommodate the increasing number of visitors based on the “Friendly Design” concept that considers all types of visitors. To raise awareness, PTTEP will continue expanding the youth network for conservation, arranging the volunteer activities for PTTEP staff, and promoting tourism activities by collaborating with local community networks to enhance income and publicize projects. PTTEP will ensure project sustainability through community engagement and strategic collaboration with government agencies and academic institutions for greater outcomes in the future.

– Published and distributed with permission of Media-Outreach.com.