Many of our 2020 camp experiences have been postponed due to the Covid-19 virus. We look forward to continue the gatherings when it is safe to do so. Please check our website or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates. We commend the efforts by so many of us to limit the spread of the virus and send deep thanks to the healthcare workers across the globe taking care of those most affected. We see our work of bringing balance back to ecosystems as more important than ever. Our team is busy building our organizational capacity during this time so that we can share the message of regenerative land management even further. We are grateful for your support and look forward to seeing you at camp in the future.

Camp Uthai

Uthai Forest, Thailand

Camp Uthai

The project aims to plant trees and establish a food-producing forest in Uthai Thani, Thailand through a community effort. Besides afforestation, the main objective is to mobilize and empower as many people as possible, especially Singaporeans, to participate in greening our world through concrete actions – planting trees and learning low-impact ways of living. The project will also benefit the local farming community by sharing eco-friendly practices and creating alternative jobs to conventional and environmentally degrading rice and sugarcane cultivation. As humans are the species responsible for climate change, Camp Uthai also creates an opportunity for us to act now, instead of waiting for others to do something.

Camper Opportunities

We are offering volunteer camps for people with general and specific skills. To cover costs we will be charging volunteers 250 Baht a day for food and transport within Uthai Thani province (to and from the public minivan station, going out for meals and excursions, etc.). Ideally we are looking for volunteers who are willing and able to take the public minivan from Bangkok or other Thai towns to Uthai Thani independently as well as those in the region who are able to reach the camp with minimal to no air travel (very feasible within most of Southeast Asia).

We want to start conducting courses and other kinds of longer volunteer camps. Stay tuned!

What to Expect

The camp is very simple with a pavilion for camping out and cooking, equipment sheds for planting and buildings, toilets, showers and a nursery. We camp out in tents, cook over rocket and charcoal stoves and wash and dry our clothes on-site. The camp isn’t isolated and we often visit the town for supplies or to give campers a taste of the local life there.

Activities: The main activity is planting trees, but other activities include construction, painting, harvesting water hyacinth and others that come up as needs arise.

Who is needed

  • People with natural building skills who are willing to conduct courses; we will use these natural buildings as camp lodging in the future.
  • Anyone with construction, carpentry or design skills who can use our existing resources to design facilities like rocket stoves, makeshift shelters, composting areas, etc.
  • People with videography and photography skills.

Vision and Socio-economic-ecological context

Uthai Forest aims to establish a food forest on 23 hectares of land while creating a space for people, especially nature-deprived city dwellers, to participate in ecosystem restoration and reforestation. This camp offers people the chance to see and experience a different way of life where we depend on ourselves, nature, and each other instead of external, unsustainable economic models in order to live well.

Uthai Forest is a space for people to take action and participate in restoring ecosystems and building an alternative nature based community. We also aim to engage with and benefit the local farming community by sharing eco-friendly practices and creating alternative jobs to conventional rice cultivation.

Uthai Forest is situated on fromer rice paddies which are heavily degraded due to years of chemical-intensive farming. The soil is highly compacted, clayish and very hard, making digging and planting difficult.

The camp is surrounded by smallholder rice farmers, most if not all of whom have been planting rice the same way for decades. This has left many of them in debt as the cost of buying seeds and chemical fertilisers and pesticides far outweighs the money they earn from selling rice. Even so, they have kept up this practice because it is now considered the norm and there are few alternatives visible in the area. The land that the camp is on is very similar in condition to the surrounding rice fields.

 Established camp

Next Camp

To be announced

Organizing Partners

Facilities
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Camping

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Kitchen

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Toilets

Restoration Activities

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Water Retention

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Tree Planting

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Composting

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Soil Restoration

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Regenerative Entrepeneurialism

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Erosion Prevention

How to apply

What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

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Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation / Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2019

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