As active citizens of our community, Diethelm Travel Thailand is proud to have supported local initiatives aimed to provide support to wildlife rangers at Khao Yai National Park and to encourage the planting of soil-conserving grasses.
One of our favourite places to take travellers for wildlife viewing, Khao Yai is home to wild elephants, white-handed gibbons, hornbills, sambal deer and more, and is Thailand’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Khao Yai is located in the southern portion the Isaan region, in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
From the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat, it is a three-hour drive to reach the national park. For the rangers who protect the park, it is another two-hour walk to get to the heart of the forest, and they often spend months at a time deep in the wilds.
To support these selfless protectors of the environment, Diethelm Travel donated necessary supplies such as torches, lights and dried foods. We also helped the rangers to construct a Western-style toilet at their station. We are grateful to the rangers for this chance to support their activities, be part of the team, and to play our own small part in preserving indigenous wildlife for generations to come.
As part of our community outreach and environmental support initiatives, Diethelm Travel Thailand also supported local efforts to replant native vetiver grass.
Thailand faces serious soil erosion issues when heavy rains wash away riverbanks and mountainsides which have been cleared for cultivation. A hearty indigenous grass well-adapted for conditions throughout the country, vetiver grass binds soil and does not only help reduce flooding and improve watersheds but restore fertility.
Vetiver grass prevents erosion during seasonal monsoon rains and it also acts as necessary groundcover which increases soil humidity in the dry season by covering the earth and preventing evaporation. In addition, the grass acts as a nursing crop for forestation and improves soil structure so that water can infiltrate deeper into soil along the grass roots, which over time can restore degraded soil.
His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was one of the first conservationists to realise the potential of this native grass and encouraged the planting of vetiver to help farmers protect their croplands and to restore the country’s soil. These planting projects have served to not only protect the environment, but soil restoration has also improved the yields of previously underproductive farmlands and improved the economic prospects of Thailand’s farmers.
Royal projects and government support have allowed programmes which support the planting of vetiver grass to expand across the country, which in turn has allowed farmers and land alike to flourish. It is thanks to his Majesty’s prudential views and actions that the planting of vetiver grass has resulted in improved crop yields, the increased durability of cultivated areas and the beautiful scenery of both residential and wild areas where vetiver grass aids in soil and water conservation.
In addition to planting the vetiver grass, the team also helped build a salt lick to provide the region’s wildlife with a place to go for important salts and minerals. Salt licks, also called mineral licks, are particularly important in environments that have low or limited nutrients available and provide essential nutrients to a variety of animals, such as deer, elephants and other small animals. In this way, we were able to help support a number of different aspects of Khao Yai’s eco system in one trip.
Diethelm Travel is always happy to support the communities we live and work and are proud to have been partners in this most recent project.