Thailand: Faasai Resort Plants Vetiver in Wetland

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Faasai Resort and Spa, a family owned eco-resort in Thailand, will plant Vetiver to protect White Water Lake, a conservation lake 500 meters from the resort. Their guests are being invited to join the planting on World Responsible Tourism Day, Tuesday June 2, 2009.

White Water Lake (No
ng Nam Kao) has healing mineral spring waters which collect in streams, the small lake and a swamp. To increase the water retention the owners of Faasai Resort have increased the depth of the stream and lake. They have also planted Vetiver grass, bamboo, lemongrass and about 1,000 trees around the perimeter of the lake and on adjoining land.

"Our intention is to preserve the springs as a reservoir of pure fresh water and to provide a safe shelter for birds and other wildlife including fish, frogs, bats, lizards and snakes," say the owners. So far more than a hundred varieties of birds, dozens of varieties of fresh water fish, fresh water shrimps, water monitors, pythons, rats and water snails have been recorded at the sanctuary.

On June 2 the edges of the water are being planted with an additional 1,000 Vetiver plants - which is considered to be a 'super grass' for water conservation. Vetiver ('yaa faak' in Thai) has a strong fibrous root system which rapidly penetrates deep into the soil and develops into a tightly knitted net. It holds the soil together and serves as an underground wall which retards water flow but allows water to seep into the soil. The roots are also capable of absorbing mineral nutrients for plants and other chemical substances such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides before they flow into the water sources. This protects the water from pollutants and maintains water quality.

The resort is nestled beside a small forest reserve in the foothills of the world-renowned Cardamom Mountains which stretch into Cambodia 100 kilometres away. This makes the area a magnet for wildlife, despite being only a three-hour drive from Bangkok. The sustainable practices implemented by the resort have earned them much recognition from the tourist industry. See more about this story in this Asia Travel Blackboard newsletter.


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