Students from the Natural Resources Management field of study, School of Environment, Resources, and Development of the Asian Institute of Technology have won the annual debate organized on the occasion of the International Day of Forests for the third successive year. The three-member team of Mr. Vasan Narang, Ms Ngoc Han and Ms. Sobia Asghar defeated their rival Kasetsart University at the competition held on 21 March 2016.
The debate was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) along with RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), at the FAO premises in Bangkok.
Debating on the proposition “Investing in forest restoration reduces the cost of providing clean water to people,” the AIT team spoke in favor of the motion. The AIT team reasoned that forest restoration curtails soil erosion and nutrient runoff, enhances clean groundwater infiltration, thus reducing the use of chemicals in water treatment and prolonging the life of treatment facilities.
This year’s winning team members hail from three countries — Vasan is from Thailand, while Ngoc Han is from Vietnam, and Sobia is from Pakistan. While Sobia is a Doctoral candidate, both Vasan and Le Truong are Master’s students — all three being enrolled in the Natural Resource Management (NRM) field of study in AIT’s School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD).
In her welcomes remarks, Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative stated that “The ‘Forests and Water’ theme is particularly relevant this year, as we are reminded every day in the news about the ongoing and intensifying drought, the farmers who are suffering from lack of water for their crops, and even potential water shortages in urban areas.” “I want to say how great it is to see all of you, the students and teachers from the participating schools and universities for your participation. This event is about you and for you,” Kadiresan added.
The three judges were Mr. Patrick Durst, Senior Forestry Officer, FAO; Mr. Ronnakorn Triraganon, Manager, Capacity Development and Technical Services (CDTS), RECOFTC; and Ms. Keiko Numara, Programmer Officer,UN-REDD, UNEP.
Eight participating teams were divided into four categories. Apart from AIT, the other three winners are Panyarat High School, Garden International School, and Anglo Singapore School.
This is the third successive win for AIT students. In 2014, AIT students Sam Chanthy from Cambodia, Rehan Ul Haq of Pakistan, and Aung Kyaw Naing from Myanmar had debated on the topic “The best way to conserve forests is to keep people out of the forests,” and won. The following year Katika Punbuatoom from Thailand, and Sumitra KC and Pradeep Baral from Nepal, won the debate while speaking on the proposition “That climate change means we should spend more money on protecting forests.”
More details are available at the FAO website: http://www.fao.org/asiapacific/news/detail-events/en/c/394620/
On invitation of Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), Prof. Rajendra Shrestha and Dr. Nophea Sasaki visited Phnom Penh on May 27-28, 2016 to promote the AIT educational and research activities and to strengthen research collaboration between AIT and institutions in Cambodia. In addition to introducing AIT’s education and research excellence, we discussed the possibility of having a unified-degree, dual-degree, joint-degree, and two-stage degree programs with top private universities in Cambodia. These universities include Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), Phnom Penh International University (PPIU), and Asia-Europe University. We also discussed the research collaboration with the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), Ministry of the Environment (MoE), and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). All parties have generally agreed to further collaboration through the signing of MoUs and followed by MoA for specific activities subject to detailed agreement.
1) NRM-AIT delegates met with the President of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (H.E. Dr. Khlot Thyda) and her staff
2) NRM-AIT delegates met with the Secretary General ( H.E. Dr. Tin Ponlok) of the National Council for Sustainable Development and staff of the Ministry of Environment Secretary General
3) NRM-AIT delegates met with the Under Secretary of State (H.E. Sao Vannsereyvuth), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
4) NRM-AIT delegates met with the Deans of the Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia
5) NRM-AIT delegates met with the Deans of the Phnom Penh International University
Dr. Nophea Sasaki gave an invited talk on “Balancing Land Development and Biodiversity Conservation through Biodiversity Offsetting Program” at the Regional Conference on Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Forests of the Greater Mekong Sub-region held on 23 – 25 March 2016 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Deadline: 30 June 2016
Click here for information in Thai.
About the RTG Fellowship
The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand is offering generous academic fellowships to Thai students to pursue Master’s and Doctoral degree programs at its pristine campus.
It is vision of the Royal Thai Government (RTG) to prepare the country and its people for the emerging ASEAN Economic Community. Through its no-bond RTG Fellowships at AIT, it seeks to prepare its engineers, scientists and managers to become global citizens and emerge as key drivers of Thailand’s international competitiveness.
Recently granted 5-Star Rating by QS for its internationality, teaching and facilities, AIT invites applicants to postgraduate programs in its three schools – School of Engineering and Technology (SET); School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD); and School of Management (SOM).
Eligibility requirements for master degree
Thai national only.
TOEFL score of 210 (computer-based) or AIT English Entry Test or equivalent or AIT English Entry Test
Four-year Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university is required.
MBA applicants require an additional one-years relevant work experience.
Eligibility requirements for doctoral degree
Applicants should have a Cumulative GPA of 3.50 in their Master’s degree and 2.75 in their undergraduate program from top universities (3.00 for other universities).
For more detailed information, please visit AIT Scholarship
Fellowships cover tuition and registration fee, but do not cover accommodation fees or living expenses.
The final decision of grant of RTG Fellowships rest with the Selection Committee.
Interested applicants may apply here or contact the AIT Admissions Office at
Phone: 02-524 5032, 02-524 5033
For the RTG Fellowship detail, please contact
Tel. 02-524-5071 or
Tel. 02-524-5023 or