Chiva-Som celebrated UNESCO’s International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem on 26th July with a visit to its Krailart Niwate Mangrove Ecosystem Preservation Project in Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan. Led by Vaipanya Kongkwanyeun, General Manager of Chiva-Som, staff members and guests planted 500 seedlings at the conservation site.
International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is a day to appreciate and note the importance of the world’s mangroves: these complex ecosystems act as a natural defence against tsunamis, rising sea levels and coastal erosion; they provide shelter and breeding grounds for a diversity of marine life; and they act as a source of food and livelihoods for traditional communities. Yet 50% of the world’s mangroves have disappeared over the last 40 years, with 75% of the remainder now in danger.
As part of Chiva-Som’s ethos of sustainability that is integrated into every facet of its operations, its team have spent the last 15 years cultivating the seaside town of Hua Hin’s only urban mangrove. The Krailart Niwate Mangrove Ecosystem Preservation Project is a collaboration between the resort, the Preserve Hua Hin Group led by Krip Rojanastien under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Maha Sirindhorn, the Hua Hin municipality and Silpakorn University. Together, they turned what was once wasteland into a peaceful and flourishing ecosanctuary for the town’s residents and visitors alike.
A total of 11,000 trees have been planted over an area of seven acres, with the number and area expanding each year. Chiva-Som also sponsored the construction of the 1 km elevated boardwalk through the mangroves at a total cost of THB 7 million (USD 210,000). Visitors can enjoy ambling through the reserve, surrounding themselves with the healing effects of getting back to nature, all the while learning how mangroves sustain communities.