Natural Classroom at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park (Bang Kachao)
Khung Bang Kachao is in Phra Pradaeng district, Samut Prakan, just 20 kilometres from the delta where the Chao Phraya meets the Gulf of Thailand. It is influenced by high and low tides and salinity levels due to its proximity to the sea. The area has a unique character and a great diversity of flora and fauna.
This 11,000-rai green area was lauded by Time magazine in 2006 as “The Best Urban Oasis of Asia” — the keyword is “oasis”, the “lungs” that produce oxygen for the city of seven million people for nine months in a year thanks to seasonal winds. In the face of global warming and its worldwide impact, the area helps trap over 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, according to a 2011 study by Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (Public Organisation) and Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Forestry.
The mouth of the canal, with an influx of brackish water coming in from the sea during high tide, enriches the expanse of mangrove forests, one of the three ecological systems that characterize this green pig’s stomach. Meanwhile, in the low-lying plains deeper inland, rainwater is trapped during the monsoon season and dries up in summer, and the area was once a freshwater swamp forest before it was turned into fruit orchards and irrigation canals. Lastly in the high plains in the middle of Bang Kachao which was once a rainforest has been converted into farmland and residential areas.
Result of the continuous monitoring by Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University in last 4 years demonstrates that biodiversity in these 3 forests has been increased i.e. the average biomass of mangrove forest is increased to 16.14 tons per rai or 57.2% increase, the average biomass of freshwater swamp forest is increased to 11.83 tons per rai or 21.7% increase and the average biomass of rainforest and is increased to 11.53 tons per rai or 20.6% increase. As per the monitoring result, the number of plant species have been increased from 90 in 2014 to 118 species in 2017 or 31.1% increase. At least 101 species of native wildlife have been identified. Birds in the area are both native species and migratory birds. Sri Nakhon Khuean Kan Park is an important location for bird watching
Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park
Bang Kachao sub-district, Phra Pradaeng district, Samut Prakan 10130
Forest Restoration for Eco-learning at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park Project (Bang Kachao)
PTTEP is committed to reducing the environmental impacts through various projects. An example of commitment is the Forest Reforestation for Eco-learning at Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park Project (in line with HRH Princess Sirindhorn’s initiative, Bang Kachao) in Samut Prakan Province. The project was initiated in 2013 to restore a 40-rai forest in botanical garden and to renovate the park into an eco-learning site in the style of natural classroom. The site has become a popular recreational ground, nicknamed “the Lung of Bangkok”.
In 2018, PTTEP continues to organize the “Young Guide Course”, a training course for students in the area to build up network and raise awareness of the value of “Bang Kachao, Forest in the City”. So far, 242 students have been trained under this program. This year 308,715 visitors visit Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park which is 35% higher than 2017. Out of total visitors, 36,922 are from overseas and 140 wheelchair-bound visitors.
PTTEP has carried out analysis on Social Return on Investment (SROI) of this project by measuring the social impact of the program with the financial quantification calculation (monetization). This method is intended to measure the value of the financial impact of the program that compares to the value of the impact to the cost of the program that has been invested into. It appears that the value of the SROI ratio is 1: 1.