Inviting Nature In: Laguna Phuket Creates Pocket Forests

With SUGi and the Miyawaki Method of Afforestation

Since its establishment, which commenced with a seven-year rehabilitation journey from a tin mine to the integrated resort destination it is today, Laguna Phuket has remained committed to safeguarding its natural environment. Building upon this dedication, Laguna Phuket has now partnered with rewilding specialists from SUGi to reintroduce native wild species into the surrounding landscape.

This visionary initiative begins with the creation of several planned ‘pocket forests’ within the destination, recognized as Asia’s premier integrated resort, set against the stunning backdrop of the Andaman Sea.

Under SUGi guidance, the Laguna Phuket team adopted a multi-faceted and multi-phase approach to rebuilding the symbiotic web of Phuket’s rainforest. Following the Miyawaki method of afforestation that mimics the way a forest would recolonise itself if humans stepped away, the team selected several secluded areas within Laguna Phuket with a goal of turning it into self-sustaining ‘pocket forests’ in a year’s time.

To that end, the team selected 84 species of native trees based on a survey of the last remaining virgin rainforest Khao Phra Thaew, focusing on those that would occur naturally in that particular area without humans, to build a site that is more responsive to climate change.

During the recently completed first phase, a total of 7,500 saplings across Open Kitchen and Veya Grove were planted with the help of children from the neighbourhood and Laguna Phuket Kindergarten who had the chance to learn about local ecosystems as part of Laguna Phuket’s commitment to inspire the next generation to become stewards of the planet.

Quick to establish and maintenance-free after the first two-to-three years, Miyawaki forests grow ten times faster and are thirty times as dense as alternative reforestation solutions, providing a greater amount of forage for pollinators, refuge for birds, and a cool home for insects.

“This rewilding project with SUGi is about creating spaces where people fall in love with nature in a different way. It is the beginning of our next chapter of bringing communities and rewilding all our properties around the world. We decided to start here, where everything began in 1994 with the first Banyan Tree.”

“This place was a tin mine and we transformed it into what you see today. Now we are going through the next transformation, where we are bringing back an ecosystem of native flora and fauna,” said Ho Ren Yung, Head of Brand HQ at Banyan Tree Group. “Sometimes starting from the beginning can help shape where you want to go in the future,” added Ho Ren Yung.

“Every resort we have is about experiencing nature in a way that really connects you to your soul. Bringing nature in and inviting people to create their own sanctuary in connection with nature.”

Latest news

Related news