The Success of Forest Restoration in Northern Thailand

In 1997, the Hmong community of Ban Mae Sa Mai village in northern Thailand began a collaboration with researchers and national park authorities to restore agricultural fields to natural forest. Between 1997 and 2013, they honed methods of assisted regeneration while restoring 33 hectares (82 acres) of upland evergreen tropical forest in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

Monitoring teams documented the return of biodiversity and ecosystem services to the restored land, and participants founded a tree nursery that continues to supply thousands of native tree seedlings each year to nearby initiatives inspired by the Ban Mae Sa Mai model. The reforestation project now serves as a research and demonstration site, where university students monitor biodiversity recovery and carbon sequestration, and local, regional and international delegates train in reforestation methods and community-led ecosystem restoration.


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