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VWB CS & CSR Projects with Track of the Tiger T.R.D.

Agroforestry Projects

THE MISSION

To move beyond ‘just planting trees’, using ‘community managed agroforestry’ to restore the symbiotic relationship between man and forest, creating a partnership in which each is responsible for the long term survival of the other.

The annual burning of forest and cropland in northern Thailand is causing major health problems and is seriously impacting the tourist economy and its extended supply chain. The situation is dire, there is no quick fix, no single solution. The underlying problems are rural poverty, inequality, and the lack of opportunity.

THE INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS APPROACH

With the help of its donors and supporters, VWB will establish an ‘agroforestry demonstration, training and research centre’ – a pilot project for a wider development programme - on 160 hectares of community forest surrounding a Buddhist Meditation Centre on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. Here the villagers helped by volunteers will plant A combination trees and NTFPs (non-timber forest products) guided by an integrated set of solutions that will provide participating communities with the resources and the incentive to protect their forests.
Review a 1-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_FHau-Lr_c

DONOR FUNDING

Although the basis of our appeal is to raise funds to plant trees, we believe that to give that tree the greatest chance of long term survival, we have identified with donor funding and volunteer help, will implement an integrated set of solutions that will tie the economic wellbeing of those who are the custodians of the community forest, to the survival of that forest and the biodiversity in it for the benefit of all.

We have set a ‘unit of donor funding’ at US$3.- (for individuals), so that a share of donations may be allocated to implementing each integrated solution.

OPTION 1 – ADOPT A TREE

 

Share of US$3.- Donation

Description

 

US$ 0.75

1 x Tree– We have engaged experts to advise on the best selection of indigenous trees in this area, and at this elevation. We have a shortlist of some 230 species and will use the ‘framework species’ (see. www.forru.org) method in selecting what is planted where. The method ensures the correct mix of species at the canopy, middle and undergrowth level to maximise growth and biodiversity. 

US$ 0.25

NTFPs – From plants and treesselected to produce herbs, spices, medicines, essential oils, fragrances to food, to honey and bamboo for many uses. The global value of NTFPs contribution to developing world economies in monetary terms is calculated in billions. The value of allowing access to and use of NTFPs in the community forest to villagers, in exchange for their protection of the forest and its trees – is in the clean air and water dividend it provides us all, and in the bonus the additional revenue, and employment, it brings to these communities, who for want of opportunity migrate to the slums around big cities in the hope of earning a living.

US$ 0.50

Village Partners - Your donation provides a day rate for villagers who are engaged to manage the forest: plant trees & non-timber forest products, in weeding/mulching, composting, making biochar, collecting seeds, establishing and maintaining firebreaks and check dams. The schedule and is determined by the donor funding available.

From the start of year 4, the income generated by the NTFP harvest (and from the other integrated solutions) replaces your subsidy and provides the incentive for their continued management of the forest. The supply chain facilitated by the responsible tourism solution provides a means of getting the NTFPs and other produce to the market, and for bringing in raw materials as needed.

US$ 0.25

Firebreaks & Dams  - Firebreaks - Key to the survival of this type of forest – which is very dry at certain times of the year, is to protect it from fire. As fire breaks can take up valuable space and require maintenance we will be looking at innovative ways of planting ‘fire retardant’ crops (aloes etc.,) in them during the ‘dry season’, and short growth cycle crops in them in the wet season.

Dams - Of equal importance is to try and extend the availability of water (captured rainwater) as long as possible beyond the rainy season. slopes/ravines etc.)   The slow release of water from them will benefit the forest ecosystem. The topography (a hilltop setting) lends itself to the installation of a chain of connected water retention dams along the spine of the hilltop, with a drip irrigation based run-off network from each to the immediate area.

US$ 0.45

Sustainable Small Scale Agriculture - The drive for economic development and increased production has pressured the rural village farmer to turn from subsistence farming to a chemical driven model that has obvious long term environmental costs to the community. Incentives for growing crops like corn to meet the demands of the animal feed industry have led to poor land management practices and encroachment on designated forest areas.

VWB is encouraging communities to return to a more sustainable model by:

  1. Introducing raised bed and hanging garden drip irrigation fed, chemical-free options that maximise and diversify production in and around the home area.

  2. Using revenue from the above and from NTFPs to rehabilitate their chemically damaged farmlands before planting more environmentally friendly crops.
     
  3. Diversifying their revenue by using the supply chain transport provided by the responsible tourism component to explore options for non-tourism reliant 2nd revenue streams.

US$ 0.25

Responsible Tourism Development - The establishment of a series of nature trails that cover the 160-hectare site is designed to allow access to the forest for environmental study, research and recreational purposes.

The trails have been surveyed by experts. Trees and points of interest have been identified, and phenology study APPS are made available to those using them, so that those walking them may actively contribute to establishing a research database.


The trails offer numerous CS (community service/and CSR opportunities) for schools, universities, corporates and special interest travellers: building insect hotels, bird and animal viewing hides, check dams, undertaking carbon capture studies, forest maintenance, tree planting and more – they provide a fantastic platform for environmental study.

US$ 0.25

Non-Tourism reliant 2nd Revenue Streams - The nature trails are a catalyst for the development of accommodation services, arts and crafts activities based on adding value to the non-timber forest products, and a provide a supply chain link to the market for them.

(Example) Combine a trek with working alongside the village partners to harvest  NTFPs. On your return get involved with the process of adding value to them (medicines, essential oils etc.) and come away with something you produced, in your forest.

Many people inthe villages have a range of craft-based skills. Some do not have access to the community forest and, and tourism itself provides intermittent and unreliable revenue. With some training, equipment and start-up funding they could develop 2nd revenue streams, some using recycled product like plastic, glass, wire etc. The same vehicle that brings in tourists under the Responsible Tourism Alliance Project supply chain system, can bring in raw materials and take out the finished product.

  US$ 0.30 Project Management / Monitoring Costs - VWB employs a dedicated project manager responsible for liaising with all stakeholders and suppliers, planning and overseeing the project as well as compiling the reports needed to track progress and donor expenditure. This amount is a contribution to his costs over the first 3 year period.

 

Carbon Capture - On initiating the Wat Don Kaew project on 160 hectares of hilltop forest land we have established a preliminary carbon capture per tree figure in kg at year 3 (22.5kg) and year 25 (1000kg) and will revise it annually as more accurate data allows.

Carbon capture test circles (10m radius) on which tree and soil carbon capture shall be established at designated points along the trail and in areas slated for ANR (accelerated natural regeneration) will be measured and data reported annually.

The average person generates = 5000 kg of Co2per year

1 tree Offsets 22.6 kg Co2 per year, or 1000 kg over 25 years

To Calculate Your Annual Carbon Emissions See:
https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx

 

Ecological Benefit - Air pollution accounts for 4.6 million deaths per year. Water pollution for 3.5 million. The costs for the treatment of illnesses from both financial and life standard is immense. Before the year 2000 carbon emissions increased by 1% per year. Since 2000 they have increased at app. 3.5% per year. The impact of man’s encroachment on the natural habitat of wild animals is huge and is increasingly putting us all at serious risk.

 

OPTION 2 - Adopt A Forest – As a group, (school, university, corporate entity or foundation) we invite you to support the project by splitting your donation in units of US$ 6.- split 50/50 between the Tree + NTFP + support programme – as described under Option 1. above, and  the following ‘main project development’ items:

  • The installation and maintenance of the fire-breaks, dam (and back up water supply system.)
  • The identification of the best locations for and the installation and maintenance of the project water retention and check dams.
  • The baseline studies, 3-5 year phenology studies,and research database development for the nature trails project. As well as annual community socio-economic studies to assess progress.

Training workshops on (NTFPs & Sustainable Agriculture) over the initial

OPTION 3 - Key Infrastructure Item Funding - to cover one or more of the ‘major’ items such as:

  • A solar-powered water supply system and piping (transferring water to tanks (and topping up) retaining dams 200m above and 1.5 km from the main canal supply.)

  • 3-4 x 50’000 litre plastic sheet lined rainwater retention dams.

  • 5km on nature trail development (path work, steps, bamboo bridges, check dams etc.)

  • 5 x camera traps – for monitoring animals along the nature trail.

  • Sponsorship of a 4 man community forest ranger team for multiples of 1 year.

  • 15 x strategically located check dams.

  • 1 Rai demonstration/training raised vegetable/herb bed & hanging basket project.

Costs:Updated list and costs available on request.

Recognition: (a) Logo and link on the project sponsor’s page – VWB website. (b) Logo on sponsor’s strategically located billboard (used as a backdrop for support group photos) at the project site. (c) Video or photography of ‘item’ related installation. (d) A link to a blog entry on the VWB website that covers - text/photos and or video- detail of the support given by the donor.
Contact Us for more detail.

 

OPTION 4 - Core Sponsor Funding – Regular small to medium-sized donations by a select group of core sponsors (stakeholders and individual or small business supporters) to help cover funding shortfalls that inhibit progress.

Costs: To be discussed

Recognition: Promoted in a Core Sponsors page on the website.
Contact Us for more detail.


HANDS ON INVOLVEMENT   
                                                                                                          

VWB has a range of half, full-day or longer, CS or CSR projects available that can be funded /worked on with the community by visiting schools, universities, corporate groups. They can include any of the agroforestry related tasks outlined above. Alternatively, they can cover VWBs work in providing educational support to the participating communities. These include installing mushroom houses, vermiculture, aquaponics, intelligent playgrounds or small construction in schools. As VWB is a non-profit foundation, our primary supporter  Track of the Tiger T.R.D (an experiential education services provider) packages these projects into CS, CSR or Team Building programmes providing logistics and supervisory services for them.
Contact Us for more detail.

THE LOCAL SUPPORT GROUPS

  • A local award-winning NGO with many years of experience and a proven record of success in the north.

  • Two tourism operators who are active in educational tourism and proponents of a more responsible, equitable business model, and access to funding and support from its client base.

  • A revered Abbot, with a long record of support for community development, and access to an excellent pilot project site.

  • The local stakeholders - A village community struggling to farm on denuded soil, with access to community forest, and keen to access opportunities to escape the poverty trap, as well as local government and the RFD (Royal Thai Forestry Department.)

APPEAL

We are seeking donor funding support for this project, under options 1,2 3 or 4. To make a donation please use the form provided HERE 

Alternatively donate via our Adopt A Tree with VWB campaign on Give.Asia.