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A forest in the city

Visitors use the skywalk to appreciate the forest.

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PTT's Pa Nai Krung is a new man-made forest in the eastern part of Bangkok near Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Making the city greener

PATTRAMON SUKPRASERT

It is probably a concrete jungle that the people of Bangkok feel most at home with. But there is now an alternative, thanks to Pa Nai Krungliterally forest inside the city – which has recently become an environmental landmark in the eastern part.

Located on Sukhaphiban 2 Road, only 15 minutes drive from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the 12 rai, man-made forest is the brainchild of PTT. Since 1994, the oil and gas company has committed to afforesting more than a million rai across the country. Though this project has been completed, the company realised that Bangkok is still short of green areas.

"After all this time we have finally come to realise that we have neglected things that are important to us. So, we decided to grow a forest in the city," said Prasert Salinla-Umpai, PTT executive vice-president for corporate communications and social responsibility.

Before the project started, the land was a garbage dump. But after being developed, it has been divided into three sections – 75% forest, 10% water and 15% land.

Pa Nai Krung is divided into three sections — 75% forest, 10% water and 15% land.

Pa Nai Krung is not as dense or green as a forest should be, but it's still in the early planting stage.

"We've planted a variety of trees mixed between fast- and slow-growing plants that provide shade to replicate a real forest. When they are all mature, there will be trees, shrubs and herbs all over Pa Nai Krung," Prasert added.

In afforesting, PTT applies a theory by a Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, Akira Miyawaki. Miyawaki believes that the best way is building a forest of native trees and let them grow naturally as the best management is no management.

But different level of plants, including trees, shrubs and herbs are all needed for diversity.

Visitors can stroll on a skywalk where they get a chance to see plants from a treetop view. Along the way, signs are put up explaining different trees in different plant communities such as waterfall plants, palm plants, evergreen forests and riparian forests.

The viewing tower.

The skywalk leads to a tower which gives visitors a 360-degree bird's eye view of the forest. On the tower, visitors can also see the transition between greenery and surrounding areas, as well as view Suvarnabhumi airport. On the rooftop of the exhibition building is a garden where different kinds of flowers are planted. This part is designed to help blend the building with the forest and to insulate it.

"We hope that the project will provide an opportunity for people to realise how important forests are," said Prasert. "We also hope that it will help raise awareness to preserve forests, as well as encourage people to plant more trees."

Pa Nai Krung is open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-4pm. Admission is free. Visit http://www.pttreforestation.com.

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Vocabulary:

afforest (verb): to plant areas of land with trees in order to form a forest - ปลูกต้นไม้เพื่อสร้างป่า

alternative : something that is different from something else, especially from what is usual, and offering the possibility of choice - ทางเลือก

apply : to make use of something - นำมาใช้

awareness : knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing - การรับรู้, การทราบ, ความตระหนัก

bird's eye view : a view from a very high place which allows you to see a large area - ภาพที่มองเห็นจากมุมสูง

blend : to combine or mix with other things in an attractive or effective way - ผสม

botanist (noun): a scientist who studies plants and their structure - นักพฤกษศาสตร์

brainchild : an idea or invention of one person or a small group of people - ความคิดหรือสิ่งประดิษฐ์

committed (verb): to have promised that you will definitely do something, keep to an agreement or arrangement, etc - ให้คำมั่น

concrete jungle (noun): a way of describing a city or an area that is unpleasant because it has many large modern buildings and few trees or parks - ป่าคอนกรีต

corporate : involving large companies - บริษัทใหญ่

dense : very thick - แน่น,หนาแน่น,หนาทึบ

develop : to think of or produce a new idea, product, etc. and make it successful; to build new houses, factories, etc. on an area of land, especially land that was not being used effectively before - พัฒนา

diversity : including many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย

dump (noun): a place where waste or rubbish/garbage is taken and left - ที่ทิ้งขยะ, กองขยะ

ecology : the relationships between the air, land, water, animals, plants, etc., usually of a particular area - ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสิ่งมีชีวิตในระบบนิเวศน์

encourage : to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน

environmental : involving the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them - เกี่ยวกับสภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม

evergreen (adj): (of a tree or bush) that has green leaves all through the year; someone/something that never seems to grow old - ซึ่งเขียวชอุ่มตลอดปี

exhibition : a public show where art or other interesting things are put so that people can go and look at them - นิทรรศการ งานแสดง

expert : someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ

herbs (noun): plants normally used as medicines or for adding flavour to food - สมุนไพร

insulate : protect; the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง

landmark : a building or place that is easily recognised, especially one which you can use to judge where you are - สถานที่ที่เป็นจุดสังเกต

literally : really true; exactly as what was said - อย่างแท้จริง, อย่างตามตัวอักษร

located : where something is - ตั้งอยู่

mature : fully grown - เติบโตเต็มที่

native : existing naturally in a place - ตามธรรมชาติ

naturally (adverb): without special help, treatment or action by somebody - ตามธรรมชาติ, โดยกำเนิด

neglected : not receiving enough care or attention - ถูกทอดทิ้ง

opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส

preserve : to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน

project : a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

provide : to cause something to exist or be available - ให้

rai (noun): a unit for measuring land, equal to 2/5 of an acre or 1,600 square metres - ไร่ (2/5 เอเคอร์) (1600 ตารางเมตร)

raise : to increase the amount or level of something - เพิ่ม, ทำให้สูงขึ้น, ส่งเสริม, ยกระดับ

realise (verb): to know about - ตระหนัก  รู้

replicate : to copy something exactly - ทำซ้ำหรือทำสำเนาใหม่

responsibility : a duty; a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong - ความรับผิดชอบ

riparian (adj): growing in, living in, or relating to areas of wet land near to a river or stream - พืชในพื้นที่ชุ่มน้ำ

section : any of the parts into which something is divided - ส่วน

shade : an area that is dark and cool under or behind something, for example a tree or building, because the sun's light does not get to it - ร่ม

shrubs (noun): large plants that are smaller than a tree and that have several stems of wood coming from the ground - ต้นไม้เตี้ยๆ,ต้นไม้พุ่ม

stage : a part of an activity or process or a period of development - ช่วง, ระยะ, ตอน

stroll : walk in a slow relaxed manner, especially for pleasure - เดินเล่น

surrounding : all around a place - บริเวณรอบๆ

theory : one or more ideas that explain how or why something happens - สมมติฐาน

transition : the process of changing from one situation, form or state to another - ช่วงของการเปลี่ยนแปลง

variety (noun): many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย

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