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Journal of Social Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 22 - 24

Social Capital Concerning a Conservation of Sweet Wild Trees (Phak Whanpa) in a Northeastern Thailand Community

Phiphaporn Ravipolsadtanan, Worapol Aengwanich and Prasopsuk Littidet    

Abstract: Problem statement: Thai people favored to eat Sweet Wild Trees (Phak Whan Pa). The wild trees naturally grew quite slowly in the forests. Their leaves, eaten as vegetables, could not meet market demand nationwide. Seedling was difficult and people were not interested in planting them. Support from government and/or public sectors was slow. Those were the causes for shortages of the sweet wild trees. The purpose of the study was to study the social capital concerning a conservation of sweet wild trees. Approach: The study was carried out at Sakarat community located in Amphoe Pak Thong Chai Nakhonratchasima. As a qualitative research, documentary and field work data were collected. The 10 informants were planters and government officials responsible for conservation of the sweet wild trees at the Sakarat Environment Research Office. The research results were presented descriptively. Results: The social capitals, to a large extent, arose from shortages of the sweet wild trees, Known as, Phak Whan Pa, in Northeastern Thailand. Yet, the leaves of Phak Whan Pa were not only popular among the Thai people but also they were more expensive than other wild and home grown vegetables. A conservation of these given plants by planting them in their community and near by woods was proposed, implemented and endorsed by community leaders and Buddhist monks. Their objective as an interest group was to grow herbal plants at the Klongtery temple by giving 2-3 Phak Whan Pa seedlings to each family in the community turning such a maneuver a social capital. They often held meetings and spared news in community media, known as, Hor Krajai Kao. Tourist and learning programs were carried out at the Sakarat Environment Research office, such as, planting young plants or seedlings in the community forests protecting them with wooden cages and providing cares so that they survived in own natural setting. Conclusion/Recommendations: The people in the community and near by were allowed to pick the Phak Whan Pa in their community forests and the Taplan National Park. Keeping in mind that a conservation and awareness of the popular wild plants finally paid off and benefited to all concerned people.

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