Application of NETVIS to the Evaluation of a Reforestation Project in Northeast Thailand
Nagata Yoshikatsu1, Yoshida Kengo2, Takeda Shinya3 and Kono Yasuyuki4
1Media Center, Osaka City University
3-138, Sugimoto 3, Sumiyoshi; Osaka 558, Japan
Tel & Fax: +81-6-605-3380
Email : [email protected]
2Reforestation and Extension Project in the Northeast of Thailand (JIOA-REX)
P.O. Box 81, Khon Kaen 40000, Thailand
Tel & Fax : +66-1-954-2939
3Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University
Oiwake-cho, Kita-shirakawa, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-01, JAPAN
Tel : +81-75-753-6376 Fax: +81-75-753-6372
Email : [email protected]
4Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
46 Shimo-adachi-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-01, JAPAN
Tel: +81-75-753-7324 Fax: +81-75-753-7350
Email: [email protected].
The authors have been developing the Northeast Thailand Village Information System (NETVIS), a GIS application in which village-level agricultural and socio-economic conditions are integrated. The present study aims to apply NETVIS to the evaluation of a JICA-supported reforestation project. This project started in 1992, and during the last four years it has distributed more than fifty million seedlings of various tree species to farmers in addition to providing training courses and extension services . Monitoring works on distributed seedlings were, however, not carried out, and the increase in the reforested area is not known. By inputting the results of a questionnaire survey administered to village headmen on recent reforestation and available revealed. Further investigation is now going on and will indicate spatial differences in these use of distributed seedling and its relationship with available land resource and farmers’ job structure. This implies the effectiveness of NETVIS not only for project evaluation but also on project set-up including selection of target areas. This is an interim report of our trial.
Thailand lost an area of forest equivalent to about one-quarter of its total area in 30 years from 1961. In the same period, the decrease in forest area in Northeast Thailand, which accounts for one-third of the area of the kingdom, is about 30% of the region (RFD, 1985). To prevent further loss of forest, many reforestation projects are in progress, Besides those run by the Royal Forest Department (RFD), other government organizations such as the Community Development Department (CDD), the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and the Forestry Industry Organization (FIO) and NGOs typified by the Population and community Development Association (PDA) have their own projects (Akaha, 1994).
One of these projects, the Reforestation and Extension and Extension Project in the Northeast of Thailand (REX), in which the authors are involved, has entered its final year. In this report, we introduce a case study of application of NETVIS to the evaluation of REX. Further details about NETVIS appear in earlier papers (Nagata, 1996a; 1996b).
2. Reforestation Projects in Northeast Thailand
This five-year project was started in April 1992 by RFD and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). RFD documents state that related programs began in the Thai fiscal year 1991. Its objective is to promote reforestation by villagers across the whole of Northeast Thailand. At first, it listed up about 5,900 target villages as first priority areas based on the criterion of shortage of fuel wood (Figure 1). The total about 10% of all villages in the Northeast (REX, 1994).
Figure 1 First Priority Villages of REX
Core activities of REX are seedling production and distribution, extension, training, and demonstration plantations. For production and distribution of seedlings, four nursery centers were established (Figure 2), which produce the seedlings according to the villagers’ demand. About half of the seedlings produced are varieties of eucalyptus, reflecting the recent increase in market demand for eucalyptus wood, and the other half includes many kinds of species like teak and fruit trees.
Figure 2 Nursery Centers and Questionnaired Provinces
2.2 Other Projects Operated by RFD
Other RFD-operated projects related to the reforestation of private and public village land are briefly mentioned.
(1) Farmers Forest Plantation Extension Project
Subsidies of 3000 baht (about 25 baht = US$1) per rai (1 rai = 0.16 ha) over five years are available for reforestation of species such as teak on private land. This started in 1994 and is expected to expand its area of operation by one million rai per year. This project excludes fast-growing species like eucalyptus.
(2) Cassava Replacement Project
This project started in 1994 to promote the replacement of cassava by fast-growing trees like eucalyptus, since when eligibility of subsidy has extended to abandoned rice fields. Its activities includes distribution of seedlings and chemical fertilizers, and provision of participants with low-interest loans.
(3) Community Forest Development Program
This program was introduced in 1987. Its purpose is to subsidize the establishment of community forest on public village land. Training and guidance in seedling production are among its activities. The major species planted is eucalyptus.
(4) Thung Kula Ronghai Development Project
Thung Kula Ronghai is a large lowland along Mae Nam Mun (River) in the southern part of the Northeast. This project aims to protect the area from salt pollution and flooding by planting useless land. It was initiated in 1982 and included in the seventh National Economic and Social Development Plan (1982-1996).