May 23, 2013
29 April 2010
The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) has launched the mangrove reforestation programne
The state agency’s governor Chalit Ruengvisesh disclosed that the mangrove forest in Lam Sing area at the mouth of the river and at Chulachomklao Fort were massively destroyed, which has caused the problem of the shoreline erosion.
According to the latest survey of the Department of Mineral Resources of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, the coastline of the Samut Prakan province has suffered a critical erosion problem. Out of total 45-km-long shoreline, 30 km has experienced serious erosion. If the problem is not addressed on time, the situation will be aggravated. The evidence of the problem can be seen apparently from the long row of electricity poles submerging in the water.
As the state agency in charge of generating electricity to people in the area, the MEA has realised that it is its duty to step in to tackle the problem. As a result, it launched the five-year programme entitled "Joining MEA to preserve the mangrove forests" in 2004.
The goal of the programme is to restore the damaged mangrove forests in the areas to make it become the natural buffer zones. The project is also aimed to refill the eroded area.
Chalit said that the fishery, shrimp farming, and land encroachment have caused quick destruction of the mangrove forests. It is widely known that the mangrove’s massive root system helps prevent the erosion of the surface of the coastline, provides shelter to marine lives, and also plays a role in preserving the ecosystem.
The MEA project, which is the collaboration between MEA and the Royal Thai Navy, involves the cultivation of mangrove forests, totaling 200 rai. It also built a barrier out of MEA’s 2,000 worn-out electricity poles to prevent the losses of the sediments from the forests, having old tyres donated by Michelin wrapped around the poles.
The pole barrier was erected along the shoreline of Chulachomklao Fort.
Besides planting mangrove trees, the MEA asked Unisearch of Chulalongkorn University to conduct a five-year research to see if the pole barrier method is effective in preventing the erosion. If the research finds that it is the effective way to prevent the erosion, the mangrove trees will be planted along the coastline to make it the natural barrier against the erosion.
Chalit added that MEA also established signposts at the Chulachomklao Fort to educate all of the mangrove forests, to increase their awareness of the importance of the mangrove forests. The MEA believes that the project will contribute greatly to the restoration of the damaged mangrove forests and the result of the research can be applied to create the concrete solution to prevent the depletion of the mangrove forests in Thailand.
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