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About the Project

The global climate crisis is significantly impacting the lives of people across the world. Achieving ‘net zero’ emissions has therefore been incorporated into the international agenda and has been accorded high priority by many nations. Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd. (CTEP), in conjunction with Star Petroleum Refining Public Company Limited (SPRC) and Chevron (Thailand) Ltd. (CTL), a group of world-class energy companies, striving to achieve both energy security and environmental conservation at every step, recognizes the gravity of the issue and remains committed to the mission of reducing carbon emissions in pursuit of the ultimate goal: net zero by 2050.
Rayong, a province in Eastern Thailand, is one of the key areas with coastlines largely covered by mangrove forests. The forests hold ecological significance as they serve as carbon sinks, sequestering greenhouse gases that would otherwise significantly contribute to global warming. The carbon sequestration rate of mangrove forests in Thailand is 9.4 tCO2eq/rai/year (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, 2023). They also act as a natural defense against coastal erosion and storm surges. Unfortunately, the rate of mangrove loss in Rayong is higher than the nation average, and the abundance of mangroves is rather limited.

The ‘Foster Future Forests’ Project is a joint initiative of CTEP, SPRC, and CTL aiming for ecological restoration in under-developed land within ‘Phra Chedi Klang Nam’ mangrove forests located in Pak Nam subdistrict, Mueang district, Rayong. Throughout its course, the project aims to increase green space for carbon sequestration, promote community-based conservation, pave the way for environmental and economic sustainability in local communities, and expand to more areas in the future. These are testimonies to our mission to reduce carbon emissions from our business activities, i.e. our environmental footprint. In addition to achieving environmental benefits, the local communities will experience an improvement on their quality of life.

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Project Overview

‘Foster Future Forests’ is a long-term project that began in October 2023 as a collaboration between three groups of parties: (1) CTEP, SPRC, and CTL; (2) Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and Rayong Provincial Government; and (3) Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment, Rayong; Marine Office, Rayong Branch; Rayong Provincial Administrative Organization; Rayong Provincial Fisheries Office; Public Relations Office, Rayong; Tourism Authority of Thailand, Rayong Office; Rayong Municipality; Noen Phra Municipality; Noen Phra Community; ‘Kao Yot’ Artisanal Fishing Community Enterprise; Tourism Enterprise of Pak Nam Subdistrict; and Rayong River and Mangrove Forest Restoration Conservation Group. The project’s scientific consultant is the International Association for the Future STEM Workforce (IAFSW), for the project’s execution on an under-developed area of 100 rai in ‘Phra Chedi Klang Nam’ mangrove forests located in Pak Nam subdistrict, Mueang district, Rayong. The project highlights the group of companies’ “One Team” corporate culture, which is integral to the group’s emphasis on fostering cooperation among all parties within the business group. The project’s objectives align with our mission to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the economic and environmental sustainability of local communities, as detailed below.

To restore the ecology and abundance of mangrove forests, green space will be expanded. This expansion will serve multiple purposes, including carbon sequestration, the support of biodiversity, the enlargement of habitats for vulnerable species, and, as a by-product, the creation of a new tourist attraction in Rayong. This attraction will showcase the lush natural environment, offering opportunities for ecotourism in the future.
To establish a robust community network, we work closely with government agencies in Rayong, local schools, youth groups, and the general population. Through partnerships with local educational institutions, we aim to enhance the skills of these communities, with a particular focus on the younger generation in carbon reduction. This approach will create future career opportunities in tourism and carbon credit management, ultimately leading to increased income and an improved quality of life for them.

To advance scientific research through nature-based learning, academic institutions are involved in evaluating ecological and environmental outcomes, planning project operations, and organizing events. They conduct research
assessments, establish success metrics and monitor the progress of the project using verifiable and reliable data, with the assistance of innovative technologies, such as drones. As a result, these outcomes will serve as a foundation for developing models that future projects can emulate. The project also intends to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of experts include:

  • Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University: The institution’s expertise in forestry and ecology will contribute to urban project planning, enhance biodiversity, and assess trees for reforestation, so that the outcomes are effective and measurable.
  • Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University: The agency’s expertise in environmental science and hydrology assists with project planning concerning irrigation for water management in arid areas and sustainability practices for urban forests.
  • Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization: This agency operates under the purview of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. It provides services and standards related to measurement, reporting, and traceability, as well as certifying reported figures of greenhouse gas emissions, reduction, and offsets. For the project, the agency is involved in all measurement processes. As a result, the project’s trajectory towards reduced carbon emissions is efficient and supported by quantifiable evidence.
To spread environmental awareness, outreach events will be organized on a regular basis to promote environmental stewardship in local communities. The project also encourages employee engagement in volunteer activities that spread the message of social responsibility and environmental conservation.
To meet these objectives, the project is committed to encouraging active participation from several stakeholders, such as the local communities; the Rayong Provincial Administrative Organization; Rayong Municipality; Noen Phra Municipality; the Marine Office (Rayong Branch); the Rayong Provincial Fisheries Office; the local communities in Noen Phra; the Rayong River and Mangrove Forest Restoration Conservation Group; ‘Kao Yot’ Artisanal Fishing Community Enterprise; Tourism Enterprise of Pak Nam Subdistrict; local youth; and tourists.
The first phase of the project focuses on studying the area, in conjunction with scientific institutions, namely Mahidol University, Kasetsart University, and Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization, as well as the local government agencies. A concrete, sustainability-oriented restoration plan will be jointly made on the basis of multiple studies to be carried out, such as the reintroduction of indigenous plants, waterways and currents analysis, soil analysis, biodiversity indicators, and risk assessment. These studies are necessary because a proper plan for the restoring abundance must be tailored the particularities of the area.
For later phases, the project plans to raise wider awareness and collaborate with local academic institutions at all levels to incorporate a how-to guide on mangrove conservation into their curriculums. The project also plans to establish a learning centre for interested parties, local residents, and tourists to learn about mangrove forests and participate in events and discussions on urban reforestation. The project will also create educational materials to help the public understand the importantance of mangrove forests and their ecological conservation, in light of the current environmental situation.
To monitor the progress towards reducing carbon emissions, the project will conduct an in-depth assessment of the area’s carbon sequestration potential and changes in biodiversity by implementing efficient measurement technologies. For example, drones will be used to measure tree heights, track their annual growth, and monitor the proliferation of green space. The data can be used to calculate carbon sequestration offsets, and it is valuable for the project’s extension into other areas. Carbon credit management training, from theory to practice, will also be provided, thus creating future career opportunities for the local communities.
The collected data will also serve as a basis from which to tailor public events to the area. The public sector, the local communities, schools, and employees of CTEP, SPRC, and CTL can all participate. Activities would include reforesting, reintroducing aquatic animals, dredging waterways, building crab condos, and setting up mangrove knowledge exhibition board. Academic talks and multi-channel communication will raise awareness about the project and how reducing carbon emissions is crucial for environmental mitigation.