2016 looks set to becoming the hottest and driest year in history, breaking the record set only by the previous year. With each passing day, we feel the effects of climate change - clear signals from Mother Earth. The catastrophic effects of natural disasters can be felt on a global level.

JAMA Activity For CO2 Reduction
From Road Transport Sector

Opening of Toyota’s Biodiversity & Sustainability Learning Center in Thailand



For example, in 2008, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar left more than 80,000 people dead and over 50,000 more missing. In 2011, the Great Flood in Thailand killed 815 people and affected more than 13.6 million people, while in 2013, Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines left more than 6,000 people dead.

It is likely that these disasters are the results of climate change caused by the changes on nature we inflicted upon the planet.

In order to reduce our impact, more than 100 leaders from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for The Earth Summit in 1992. At the summit, a UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was negotiated and subsequently enforced in 1994. Since 1995, the parties to the convention have met in the annual Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess international progress in dealing with climate change. However, it seems that more can be done.

COP21 also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, was held in December last year and 50,000 participants from more than 190 countries attended. Although many positive outcomes, including the commitment to keep global warming below 2 degrees were secured at COP21, we as individuals need not wait for bureaucratic, national initiatives to be approved. We can contribute in our own ways through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

Toyota Motors Thailand (TMT), as a “Good Corporate Citizen”, has been carrying out CSR activities in Thailand for over 50 years since its founding in 1962. The preservation of the environment is a particular focus of Toyota’s commitment to the community. TMT, in collaboration with the Foundation for Environmental Education for Sustainable Development (Thailand), has established a Biodiversity and Sustainability Learning Center at the Toyota Ban Pho plant. Named Cheewa Panavet in Thai, the name is a combination of three Thai words, Cheewa (life), Pana (forest), and vet (habitat); in short, “Forest Habitat for Life”.

On 22 Jun 2016, Cheewa Panavet was officially launched, and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was there to grace the event. The center covers an area of 96,000 square meters and consists of three main sections, namely:

  • Toyota Eco Forest
    • The Toyota Eco Forest adopted Prof Dr Akira Miyawaki’s sustainable forest method by planting 34 local plant species in an area of 48,000 square meters. This method encourages forest regeneration by speeding up the growth of flora by up to ten times and achieving a tree survival rate of over 90%. Today, there are more than 40 different species of plants inhabiting the Eco Forest, some of which were brought in naturally by birds or other animals. Some of the trees have even grown to be as tall as 30 metres.
  • Toyota Biotope
    • The Toyota Biotope is home to plants, animals and other living organisms, forming a biologically diversified ecological system that spans an area of over 48,000 square meters. To date, more than 40 plants and over 210 species of animals have been confirmed as inhabitants of the reserve. Animals are also using the different forest communities within the biotope to breed and roost.
  • Royal Commemoration Exhibition Building
    • The Royal Commemoration Exhibition Room in this building exhibits projects under royal initiation for the environment. There is also a media room for nature-related education.

On the second day, Cheewa Panavet was officially introduced to the public and media. During the opening, Mr. Ekachai Chaisiriphan, Senior Vice President of TMT said, “Toyota believes that the automotive industry can co-exist with nature in harmony, that’s why Toyota launched the Eco Forest in 2008. Since then, the project has been brought to a new level with the introduction of Cheewa Panavet.”

Following this, Mr.Surasak Suthongwan, the Vice President of TMT elaborated on the role that Cheewa Panavet would play in giving back to the community. He said, “In order to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues, Cheewa Panavet will be a learning center for students to learn and experience nature. “

Currently, Toyota is cooperating with the Foundation for Environmental Education for Sustainable Development (Thailand), Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) and the Ministry of Education to develop a curriculum centred around the environment for students.

Mr. Mana Chukhanthong, Vice President of TMT said, “TMT has planted 1,175,000 trees in Thailand with its suppliers, dealers and University students in the past few years. Towards 2050, Toyota aims to reduce negative environmental impact of automobiles to as close to zero as possible and contribute further to the creation of a sustainable society by taking on these 6 challenges:

  • New Vehicle Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge
  • Life Cycle Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge
  • Plant Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge
  • Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage
  • Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Systems and Society
  • Challenge of Establishing a Future Society in Harmony with Nature

Toyota is committed to build a better future not only for Thailand, but for the world, by reducing the greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

Lastly, Dr. Sirin Kaewlaiod, Toyota’s consultant on environmental projects gave a lecture on biodiversity, sustainability and the environment. All participants were invited to join a tour of Cheewa Panavet.

We typically think of forests as just a collection of trees. However, they are much more complex in reality. A forest not only provides shelter to animals but plays an important role in the carbon, nutrient and water cycles which are all important to Mother Earth.

We are losing our forest and biological resources at an unprecedented rate due to irresponsible human activities and the unsustainable use of non-renewable resources over the last 50 years.

As a good corporate citizen, it is important for TMT to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of these resources. By sharing our knowledge and experience in environmental conservation, it is our hope that other companies follow suit.


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