Biodiversity of Wetland

The rich biodiversity and fertile land make Udon Thani the cradle of the GMS and the world, with its abundance of food, plants, culture, and people. Wetlands possess unique and rare characteristics, particularly the Lowland Floodplain Forest or Fresh water Swamp Forest, which offers unique biodiversity. This is the answer to the world’s issues of pollution, climate change, and food shortages. One of Udon Thani’s most prominent wetlands is Nong Dae, whose diverse and unique ecosystem, with its abundant natural resources, has long played a vital role in the way of life of people, plants, and animals in various aspects, from ecology, economics, society, to politics at the local, national, and international levels. Its societal abundance offers a diversity of people and growth opportunities for the region, while the natural abundance offers myriad plants and sufficient water to sustain the expo throughout its duration without the need for transportation, which consequently reduces environmental impacts and paves the way for a future of sustainability for both the AIPH expo and the global community.

Characteristic of Land

The selected venue of Expo 2026 is Nong Dae, Udon Thani. This wetland of over 164.8 hectares (100.8 hectares of land and 64 hectares of water), offers reservoirs of 2 million cubic metres of water, sufficient to sustain the plethora of flora and fauna showcased at the expo throughout its entire duration. This would mark a pivotal point of the AIPH expo, where water used in the expo would come from the source of the expo site and would not require transportation and unnecessary fuel expenditures, further serving the goal of sustainability. The land’s unique wetland biodiversity and its easily accessible location also contribute to its potential as a prime location to host the Udon Thani International Horticulture Expo 2026.

Land and Community Highlights

Udon Thani is rich both in terms of its cultural diver sity and biodiversity. There are 8 sub-districts within 20 minutes of travel by car to Nong Dae, with a total population of 198,977. Fifteen villages are directly adjacent to Nong Dae and the Expo area, with a total population of 14,826 people. With the local way of life closely integrated with nature, the local communities offer various nature-related activities aligned with Expo 2026’s theme of People, Water, and Plants, in great proximity to the expo venue.

One of Udon Thani’s ancient traditions is “Heet 12 Kong 14” or the “12-month tradition” which has served as the moral core of the people’s way of life for centuries. The tradition values the fertility of the land, which serves as the cradle of food, and therefore, life, for the community. This creates a deep and unbreakable bond between the local community and its culture. Each month has its own tradition of honouring nature and the life it sustains.

This bond between nature and humans can be seen in Udon Thani’s various flower gardens, farms, and horticultural markets that have been flourishing on the land and feeding its people for generations. These locations would supply local plants for the Expo, showcasing the land’s biodiversity while promoting local horticulture. The notable sites are as follows:

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Huai Samran Flower Garden

Baan Huai Samran Flower Garden is a breathtaking flower garden only 15 minutes away from the Expo 2026 site. The garden consists of 3 smaller gardens with various selections of local and international flora: Sittikorn Garden, Bank Benjamat Flower Café, and Pichitra Flower Garden.

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Foi Lom National Park

The region’s best nature study centre is fully equipped with a vegetable demonstration garden, spectacular views, a prehistoric park, museums, and lodgings for tourists.

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Thani’s 10th Plant Propagation Centre

This is an educational centre for horticultural knowledge with a spectacular view, complete with rooms, a dining hall, meeting rooms, tents, and various recreational activities, making the centre a prime attraction for agricultural tourism.

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Vegetable Farm KM 16th

“Million Baht Spring Onion” is a spring onion farm and knowledge centre 18 minutes away from the venue that has been sustaining local communities and the local way of life for over three decades, with exports to both the domestic market and internationally to Laos.

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Dong Reung Organic Vegetable Farm

This is a local fertiliser enterprise group 30 minutes away from the venue. The farm has been growing vegetables with organic fertilisers and hormones from milk and vegetables that have long been supplying Udon Thani’s market and economy, paving the way towards chemical-free horticulture and an eco-friendly future.

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Thani Mueng Thong Market

This local market, a 10-minute walk from the venue, is Udon Thani’s market centre and northeastern Thailand’s distributor of horticultural products. Spanning more than 15.52 hectares, it consists of a fresh market, vegetable markets, a fruit market, and a crop market that has been sustaining Udon Thani’s local communities and its economy for over 30 years, with a trade volume of over 1 billion euro per year.

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