On March 18-19, 1999, His Royal Highness Prince Henrik, the Prince Consort of Denmark, visited Thailand. Prince Henrik is the protector for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in Denmark and has a continuing interest in environmental programs in Thailand.
On the morning of March 18th, Prince Henrik travelled by helicopter over the Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary to the Huay Pa Pok Resort, located in Uthai Thani province. Welcomed upon his arrival by the Uthai Thani governor, Prince Henrik travelled to the WWF Coordination Center at Huai Mae Dee. Here he was given an introduction to three projects supported by the Danish goverment through the Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development program (DANCED).
Since 1994, DKK 450 million (2.2 billion baht) have been allocated for environmental projects in Thailand. The tnree projects presented to Prince Henrik were the Western Forest Complex (WEFCOM), the WWF Environmental Education project at Hua Mae Dee, and the Huai Kha Khaeng Buffer Zone project. The objective of WEFCOM is to establish and implement a comprehensive integrated ecosystem of the Western Forest Complex.
The WWF Environmental Education project at Huai Mae Dee is designed to instill an awareness of the conservation of natural resources and the envi ronment among teachers , students, government officials, monk, community leaders and hill tribes representatives – for a total of 688 trainees. Beyond the model school at Huai Mae Dee, mobile education units spread the message of conservation to local farming communities.
The Huai Kha Khaeng Buffer Zone project is focused on the areas adjacent to the Huai Kha Khaeng and Mae Wong National Parks and seeks to enable farming communities to initiate sustainable management of agricultural land and other resources.
On the evening of March 18th, Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand hosted a dinner in honor of Prince Henrik at Bang Pa-in Palace. Among the topics they discussed were HM the Queen’s initiative to reintroduce elephants into the wild. WWF Thailand is providing technical support for this initiative.
The visit of Prince Henrik is one of a long series of successful exchanges between the two royal families, dating back over a century.