The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) plans to purchase 510,000 tonnes of carbon credits within five years, says president Chatchai Sirilai.
The initiative is in response to Thailand's goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, along with its net-zero target, a balance between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and absorption by 2065.
He said the BAAC is cooperating with the "Bank of Trees" community and 6,800 other communities to support the BAAC Carbon Credit project.
This carbon credit project for the forestry sector involves the sale of carbon credits and issuance of letters of recognition for the Low Emission Support Scheme (LESS) from the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO).
The goal is to address business targets to reduce GHG emissions.
Two leading communities in the initiative are the Baan Tha Lee tree bank and Baan Daeng tree bank in Khon Kaen province. They have sold 400 tonnes of carbon credits, generating 1.2 million baht in income for the communities.
Mr Chatchai said the BAAC wants to expand the carbon credit project to cover more areas, eventually selling 108 billion tonnes of carbon credits annually.
A booth operated by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives at a recent edition of Money Expo. Nutthawat Wicheanbut
He said 6,814 communities nationwide have joined the project, generating income of 116 million baht, with 12.4 million registered trees and 124,071 members.
The total value of trees in these projects amounted to 43 billion baht, and preparations have started to evaluate the value of trees as collateral for loans this year, said Mr Chatchai.
The programme aims to enhance forest capacity to act as a GHG storage area by encouraging communities to preserve forests and improve the livelihood of forest communities. Forests will become more abundant, and wildfires and PM2.5 pollution will be sustainably reduced, he said.
One rai of land could grow 100 trees and generate 950 kilogrammes of carbon credits, said Mr Chatchai. After deducting expenses amounting to 30%, each rai would earn about 2,000 baht per farmer, he said.
At present, 84 communities have obtained LESS certification from the TGO and sequestered 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), with funding support of 3.8 million baht from the bank. Thailand emitted 248 million tonnes of CO2 in 2022, up 1.5% from 2021.