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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Planting trees for a better future

News form Thailand

With government assistance, Thai farmers can make significant income and contribute to a healthier planet through carbon credits.

Most Thai farmers plant trees and simply pray for good prices as their parents did for decades, but Sawai Sangsa-wang realised his trees are more valuable.

With the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) programme, also known as carbon credits, his perennial tree-planting not only produces income from payoon and teak, but he can also turn every tonne of carbon his plants reduce into income.

A Nakhon Si Thammarat native, Mr Sawai has grown trees most of his life. Last year, he started to grow more trees on his farmland in Chumphon once he learned about carbon credits.

A tree can help reduce 1.18 tonnes of carbon a year on average, acknowledged Mr Sawai, who is now the head of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) branch in Surat Thani.

''A company from Denmark has approached me through its agent in Singapore to buy credits generated from the plants,'' he said.

While the majority of Thais are not aware of carbon credits, Mr Sawai has become a role model and been provided opportunities through training in Japan to learn about the global carbon trading market and CDM.

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