Volunteer Activities of OISCA Thailand Group at Natori Project Site
From June 7-11, a group from OISCA Thailand visited Japan mainly for the purpose of volunteering in the maintenance of the reforestation project in Natori as well as presentation of their activities back home among the local residents and local government officials of Natori.
The 10-member group was led by Mr. Ari Choanguila, President of OISCA Thailand, Mr. Voratas Vanijankul, Vice President, Mr. Playaat Savangsookh, Secretary-General, Mr. Khayai Thongnunui, Director of Mangrove Development Station in Ranong, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Ms. Tomomi Kasuga, OISCA Resident Representative in Thailand.
Soon after their arrival in Japan, the group moved to Natori City and helped in uprooting weeds at the nursery and removed the vines that hampers the growth of the black pine seedlings at the project site. The group from Thailand is the very first batch of foreign volunteers who are not residents of Japan.
On June 8, the group joined the organized talk show on forest restoration which was held at the community plaza of JR Natori Station and witnessed by about 45 persons, including the local residents and local government officials. Mr. Khayai Thongnunui discussed the 2,000 hectares mangrove project of OISCA which was planted for 18 years in Ranong Province in the southern part of Thailand.
When asked about his overall impression on the Natori planting site, “this is my second time to come over here since March 2012, but I have observed significant changes taking place. Having fully experienced myself how hard the seashore forest restoration job is, I am very impressed with the steady progress of the OISCA project”, commented Mr. Khayai. He then added: “the participation and cooperation of the locals are indispensable to this sort of projects”.
On June 9, the group visited OISCA Headquarters in Tokyo to meet with Ms. Etsuko Nakano, President of OISCA Japan, Mr. Toshihiro Nakano, Executive Vice President, and other senior leaders. Later they attended a welcome party organized by the OISCA staff and members.