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Photo by CESD
Pati Preecha Siri is regarded as a very respectful elder among the villagers of Hin Lad Nai community. He was honoured by the United Nations, on April 10th 2012, at Istanbul, Turkey, with the “Forest Hero Award” for the the whole community's work in protecting and preserving the forest. There were only five people selected to receive the award from 47 people and 30 countries around the world, and Pati Preecha was the one selected from Asia. The committee explained that Pati Preecha was the leader in managing and developing the Ecosystem model of Hin Lad Nai, which succeeded in terrace-planting and rotational farming, as well as estabilishing a honey farm, farming of the local tea and bamboo forest. All of these practices go hand in hand with forest preservation (Green Globe Institute, 2018).
One of Hin Lad Nai’s villagers, Mr. Chaiprasert Paka, mentioned that though Pati Preecha was nominated to receive the Forest Hero Award, he refused to receive the award indivually. His explanation reflected the importance of community. He stated that since everyone in the community takes part in protecting and preserving the forest altogether, the award, therefore, should be given in the name of Hin Lad Nai community instead of his name. He further mentioned that “the forest is the source of income and food, from the forest, we use water for farming and nourishing our lives. As we live with the forest, we appreciate and recognize the value of forest”.