The Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU-CMU) of Chiang Mai University, in Northern Thailand, partnered by East Malling Research and Wildlife Landscapes in the UK, is a project helped by the Darwin Initiative. Since 1994 FORRU-CMU has been developing innovative techniques to restore fully-functioning forests rich with wildlife, that have led to biodiversity conservation, local protection from flooding and mitigation against climate change.

The project has been restoring forests by selecting and planting a range of indigenous forest tree species to encourage seed dispersing wildlife, which in turn do the job of establishing other important species.

Indigenous hill tribe communities in Northern Thailand have been involved at every stage of the forest restoration project, from seed collection and growing the trees in community nurseries, to planting and taking care of them. They have benefited from improved water supplies, increased supplies of forest products and income from tourism.

A second project also funded by the Darwin Initiative enabled FORRU-CMU to spread its expertise to neighbouring countries, assisting foresters in forest restoration projects in Laos, Cambodia and China.

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