TAT plant 1000 trees for koalas on National Tree Day

This National Tree Day, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) joined forces with the Koala Clancy Foundation to plant 1000 trees, helping to restore vital koala habitat in regional Victoria.

Team Thailand, comprising members of the TAT Sydney office and the Royal Thai Embassy, including the honourable Ms Busadee Santipitaks, Ambassador to Australia, were joined at the Mt Rothwell site by Councillors from the City of Greater Geelong: Cr Belinda Moloney, Cr Ron Nelson and Cr Anthony Aitken, and a large group of enthusiastic volunteers.

According to Ambassador Ms Busadee Santipitaks; “It was wonderful to see how passionate and dedicated Janine Duffy, President of the Koala Clancy Foundation has been to protect and create a habitat for koalas.

“Equally impressive is Mr Michael Smith, the owner of the land provided for this tree planting, and I truly appreciate their hosting us at their shed (and distillery).”

Trees were planted on the property of Smith, who has offered up his land at Mt Rothwell to be revegetated by the Foundation to help create more koala-friendly habitat. Mr Smith hosted the group for morning tea and lunch in his converted sheep shearing shed, now a boutique gin distillery.

The ambassador explained that the event resonates with Thailand’s continuing efforts to restore elephant rainforest habitat in Thailand. Furthermore, the latest efforts to offset carbon emissions is the Bangkok governor’s campaign to plant one million trees in Bangkok during the next four years.

TAT Director Suladda Sarutilavan expanded on Thailand’s sustainability goals, explaining the Kingdom’s Bio-Circular-Green economy model, and what that means for the future of tourism in Thailand, with initiatives to support the development of more sustainable hotels, conscious dining, and community-based tourism.

TAT recently launched the 7 Greens campaign: Green Heart, Green Logistics, Green Attraction, Green Activity, Green Community, Green Service, Green Plus which encourages resorts and tourism operators to adopt, step by step, more sustainable strategies for the future.

Event sponsor Minor Hotels group have long embraced these ideals, pioneering efforts in Thailand to establish elephant sanctuaries through Anantara’s Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, and shared their vision with volunteers on the day.

The Koala Clancy Foundation plants trees for koalas on farms and private land, creates new habitat and advocates for better protection of wild koalas. Today, volunteers planted 1000 trees, helping the foundation reach its 2022 target to plant 26,000  trees in Victoria’s You Yangs region.

Founder and president Janine Duffy thanked TAT for the opportunity to share the foundation’s ambitions.

“I am incredibly proud to talk about our You Yangs koalas with decision makers from the local area and abroad, and to hope that these great people can keep the needs of our precious koalas in their minds.” Volunteers were rewarded for their efforts with a delicious Thai lunch followed by a koala-spotting walking tour of the You Yangs, where they were delighted to encounter a koala in the treetops, for many in the group, the first time they had seen a koala in the wild.

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