The Peat Swamp and Rainforest Research Station was established in 2002 with the collaboration between BIOTEC and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, with the aim to promote and support basic research for the conservation and sustainable utilization of Hala-Bala Rain Forest and Toh Dang Peat Swamp Forest, as well as a center for community development and training.
- Research and development to increase basic scientific and socio-economic capacity. The unit focuses on biodiversity and indigenous knowledge for the benefit of local communities with special emphasis on bioresource sustainable utilization and conservation, with the following scope:Occupational development for the well-being of the local people. The unit focuses on research and promotion of sustainable agriculture and occupational development beyond agriculture in the local communities by using science and technology.
- Biodiversity inventory of flora in Hala-Bala Rain Forest in Narathiwat and Yala provinces
- Initial density estimates of rare and endangered birds of Hala-Bala forest
- Promotion and propagation of edible and ornamental herb cultivation for Hala-Bala community and neighboring villages
- Taxonomy, ecology and collection of freshwater fungi, yeast and insect fungi of the Hala-Bala Rain Forest and Toh Dang Peat Swamp Forest for bioactive compound screening
- Plant tissue culture for conservation and utilization.
- Youth training program for science and forest conservation. The unit focuses on basic community needs and application of knowledge with special emphasis on education and logical thinking skills as a basic tool for occupational and youth development.
- Coordination and community service center. The center provides technical information on plants for breeding purposes and it also exhibits community products. In addition, the center provides facilities for other government offices that are engaged in agricultural technology transfer and training related to eco-tourism development in co-operation with the local Bala community.
- Conservation and cultivation of Daeng Pradap Pha (Rhododendron longiforum), a plant of high economic potential for the local community and never previously cultured. BIOTEC supported this project under the “Breeding for edible plants and herbs for the Bala Community at Narathiwat Province”. Currently, 20 plant species have been cultured in the laboratory, in which 3 species have strong potential as a source of supplemental income for people in the community.
- A new species of Boesenbergia regalis O. Kuntze (Zingiberaceae) from peninsular Thailand was discovered in Bala and has been screened for bioactive compounds in BIOTEC laboratory. The result of screening shows that this plant has some antimalarial and antituberculosis activity.
- Database and Geographic Information System (GIS) development in Hala-Bala Forest project involves the study of flora on the 2-km nature trail where about 250 species have been found. The GIS database (which is developed on MS Access) contains all photos and locations of these species, together with botanical and socio-economic data and relevant literature.
Mr. Soonthorn Todam
Narathiwat 96160 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 7358 6037
Fax: +66 (0) 7358 6037