PSU research team works on community forest models to improve local quality of life

       A PSU research team from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Management Sciences, Surat Thani Campus, has carried out a research project on community forest knowledge management for community health in Surat Thani under the PSU project to strengthen communities. The research team was ‬led by Asst. Prof. Dr. Pratumtip Thongcharoen, head of the project, and consisted of Mr. Jirayuth Chantanaphant, Ms. Wassana Boonsawaeng, Dr. Bhisit Nilaake, co-researchers; Ms. Siriwimon Phayatham, and working groups.‬

       The ambitious project was financed through research funding from PSU’s Surat Thani Campus. The research is the continuation of an earlier study from the Community Forest Knowledge Management Research Project for Community Health: A Case Study of Ban Kuan Yoong, Khun Thale, Mueang, Surat Thani. Three community forest models were studied in Surat Thani, namely Ban Tham Phueng Community Forest, Phanom District; Ban Ang Nam Phut Community Forest, Phra Saeng District; and Ban Wang Siladireksan Community Forest, Ban Na San District. All three have shown capable management and were awarded prizes at both the domestic and international level, making them suitable for best-practice examples for other communities.

       The main objective of the project was to study the context of the community forest model in order to systematically use information to manage knowledge, general conditions, plant species and herbs, alongside a comparative study of each forest identity. A further aim was to examine best practices and accumulate knowledge for further academic and commercial use.

       Dr. Pratumtip explained that few studies have been carried out on this topic, which makes it a point of interest. The PSU team was invited at the provincial level to work alongside ten agencies to proactively develop these community forest models.

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“All of these are responses to research collaborations according to the PSU social mission in terms of the University Community Engagement to build community health and improve the quality of life of local people in order to apply the knowledge from research. to continue to serve the community.”

       The implementation of the Community Forest Knowledge Management Research Project for Community Health in Surat Thani has produced twelve videos and four brochures, alongside four research articles in English, which are awaiting publication in 2023.