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Bangchak Group, UNESCO and AIT to Explore Floating Mangroves for Blue Carbon Storage and Green Energy

Bangchak, UNESCO and AIT team on a site visit at the Chao Praya River recently. The team was led by Dr. Benno Böer, Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences, UNESCO Bangkok Office; Dr. Oleg Shipin, Adjunct Professor Energy Environment and Climate Change Department, SERD, AIT; Kittiphong Limsuwannarot, President and CEO, BBGI Plc.; and Gloyta Nathalang, Executive Vice President Corporation Branding, Communication and Sustainability Activation, Bangchak Plc. They were welcomed and briefed by Manus Russamitat, member of the Samutprakan Provincial Council, Bang Num Phueng community Leader and his team.

Bangchak Group, UNESCO and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) have initiated a collaboration to explore development of Blue Carbon Floating Mangroves Pilot Project at Bang Kachao in the Chao Praya River and other appropriate locations. The floating mangrove concept aims at utilizing enormous and global potential of the unlimited ocean space to provide an innovative nature-based solution for mangrove-ecosystem services and has a great capacity to support ecosystem-based mitigation and adaptation to climate change (via carbon storage and renewable energy production, etc.)

The innovative ‘Floating Mangroves Concept’ will further studies exploring opportunities for the production of cash crop halophytes, including the production of biofuel. The system has been successfully tested and demonstrated in an experimental plot in Qatar (2012), and supportive studies have been carried out by the University of New South Wales in Australia (2018). It has been demonstrated that it is possible to produce mangrove-based biomass (Blue carbon), afloat in the sea without compromising the conservation of natural mangrove stands.

The three parties agreed to establish prototypes of floating mangrove pontoons at the river-ward fringe of Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok Temple at Bang Kachao, opposite Bangchak Refinery. The initiative reflects the tripartite cooperation and commitment in taking actions to reduce impacts of climate change through conservation, restoration and scientific research of mangrove forests which are blue carbon ecosystems with immense carbon sequestration capacity that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.