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MFU and Chan Chwa Subdistrict Municipality Hold the “Faithfully Restoring Wiang Nong Lom Wetland and Prolonging Local An Tree’s life” to Preserve and Protect Cultural Rights of Wiang Nong Lom Wetland

Categories: ข่าวภาษาอังกฤษ

On 5 March 2024, the Global Relations Division brought international students from Antigua and Barbuda, Ecuador, Myanmar, Nepal, and Togo to join the “Faithfully Restoring Wiang Nong Lom Wetland and Prolonging Local An Tree’s life” event along with local people at the forest conservation area in Chan Chwa sub-district, Mae Chan district, Chiang Rai province. 

The purpose of this event was to restore the Wiang Nong Lom wetland which is highly productive ecosystem that provides numerous benefits to the local communities as a habitat for buffaloes and the breeding ground of countless freshwater species. An trees are cultural trees that have strong magical power. In addition, communities have used An trees planted in this wetland area to create handicraft products. Handicrafts are still a significant source of income and employment of the local communities.

This event was held by Mae Fah Luang University and  Chan Chwa Subdistrict Municipality as a part of the research project “the Landscape of Legend: The Drive of Cultural Ecosystem in Chiang Saen Basin, Chiang Rai” by Associate Professor Dr. Pollavat Prapattong, Director of Mekong Basin Civilization Museum and lecturer of the School of Liberal Arts, Mae Fah Luang University which has been funded by the Program Management Unit on Area Based Development (PMU A), Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. 

During the event, there were a worship procession and the Suep Chata ceremony (the Lanna tradition of prolonging one’s life or the life of any important thing). Later, there was a ceremony to install the pillar (a symbol of Wiang Nong Lom wetland’s heart) to represent the action of bringing a dying wetland back to life. 

Moreover, Mr. Thanongsak Thongsean, Mayor of Chan Chwa Subdistrict Municipality declared an intention to encourage communities and academics to work together to preserve and protect cultural rights of Wiang Nong Lom wetland. Furthermore, he informed that the Wiang Nong Lom wetland is now the plant genetic conservation area as a part of the plant genetic conservation project under the royal initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Chan Chwa Subdistrict Municipality would work with MFU to conduct further research in the future.

Additionally, international students visited Wat Pa Mak No temple and learned a history of the temple and a folklore of Wiang Nong Lom from the abbot of Wat Pa Mak No.

Ms. Abena Zakiya Benjamin, Master’s degree student of the International Development programme shared her thought as follows:
“The blending of ancient beliefs with contemporary conservation initiatives is one important lesson to be learnt from the tree ordination. Where local communities can establish a sense of environmental stewardship and establish a deeper connection with nature by integrating sacred and spiritual components into conservation efforts. The Mae Chan District’s ecosystem preservation, tree ordination is a potent instrument for enlisting the support of local communities in conservation efforts that support the preservation of biodiversity (SDG 14). Thus, this trip was really inspirational to me as it gave me additional knowledge about Thai Buddhism along with some historical context. This act imbues the trees with spiritual significance and ensures protecting the environment from harm such as deforestation. Therefore, promoting SDG 13 taking action against climate change is very necessary. This was a very informative session for me” 

 

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