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16 November 2011

Six Senses Launches Groundbreaking Reforestation Programme in South East Asia

Six Senses Resorts & Spas is to create one of the largest reforestation projects in South East Asia as part of its commitment to the fight against climate change.

The company has partnered with the PATT Foundation to plant over 200,000 trees per year in the Chang Mai region of northern Thailand. The project represents a multimillion dollar commitment by Six Senses over the next decade and beyond.

The project will mitigate an estimated 160,000 tons of CO2 annually by replanting 200 acres of forest every 12 months.  Between 20-30 different species of tree will be planted.The scheme follows the Framework Species Method of Forest Restoration, which is designed that birds and mammals, attracted to the plots, bring with them the seeds of many other forest trees. This encourages the establishment of a forest with the widest possible biodiversity, rather than a mono-type plantation.

The commencement of the project coincides with the UN International Year of the Forest.

Sonu Shivdasani, the Chief Executive of Six Senses, said: “Deforestation is still being one of the main causes of climate change so the International Year of the Forest couldn't have come at a more important time.

“Six Senses’ support for the Chang Mai reforestation project underlines our commitment to becoming a decarbonising company by 2020.”

Rainforests act as a giant sink of CO2 by sequestering vast quantities of carbon. Around 15.5 million hectares (38 million acres) of rainforest are cut down each year.

Reforestation projects reduce carbon in the atmosphere and are effective long terms options for carbon sequestration. Well-managed forests can replace lost habitat to improve biodiversity and provide social economic support for communities.

Six Senses is working with local communities in Chang Mai and the company hopes that their input will play a vital role in the long-term success of the project. It is hoped that the region will become a vital sanctuary for endangered species from across South East Asia.

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