NSTDA and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) signed an agreement to collaborate on mangrove research. The agreement was made official by Dr. Narong Sirilertworakul, NSTDA President and Mr. Sopon Thongdee, DMCR Director-General as witnessed by Prof. Sanit Aksornkoae, Chairman of the National Economic and Social Development Council and President of International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems.
Mangrove forests are important ecosystems. They provide essential habitat for thousands of species and also stabilize shorelines, preventing erosion and protecting the land from waves and storms. The mangroves resources involve the flora, fauna, and land resources which support welfare and serve as income source to local communities living in surrounding areas.
In this collaboration, NSTDA will perform the genomic, genetic and ecological studies as well as genetic conservation of mangrove plants which will support long-term management, sustainable utilization and future restoration of mangrove forests. The studies – to be performed in collaboration with DMCR’s mangrove research centers - will initially focus on rare and threatened species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the first two years, covering mangrove forests in 24 provinces along both Andaman and Thai Gulf coastlines. The fifteen plant species to be studied in the first phase include: Bruguiera hainesii, Sonneratia griffithii, Heritiera fomes, Avicennia lanata, Intsia bijuga, Sonneratia ovata, Ceriops decandra, Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Bruguiera sexangular, Bruguiera cylindrica, Bruguiera parviflora, Ceriops tagal and Ceriops zippeliana.
The world’s first mangrove botanical garden named the International Mangrove Botanical Garden Rama IX (IMBGR9) has recently been launched in Thailand to honor His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Located at Ban Samet Ngamn Village in Chanthaburi province, the garden aims to facilitate the conservation of mangrove species with an emphasis on rare or endangered species and support intensive research into mangrove ecosystems. This collaborative project will greatly contribute to the mission of botanical garden and bolster its vision to become a world-class learning center for mangrove forests.