Thailand’s selected protection for Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai National Park
BANGKOK, Thailand (eTN) - In 2005, UNESCO put the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex in the Nakhon Ratchasima into its World Heritage List. UNESCO’s decision relied on the fact that the Forest Complex is home to more than 800 species of fauna, including gibbons and 392 bird species, with some of the species being endangered species.
The area also contains the last substantial area of important tropical forest ecosystems in northeast Thailand. However, as often in Thailand, the kingdom has difficulties drawing a line between preservation and commercial development.
The multiplication of hotels around the Khao Yai Forest Complex has put the ecosystem under threat. As hotel owners did little to protect the environment, Thailand’s National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department now plans to impose environment fees.
According to Songtham Suksawang, director of the national parks research division to the daily newspaper Bangkok Post, hotel and resort owners will be then charged fees. Discussions will take place between the administration and hotel operators to discuss the fee amount and the collection system.
But hotels are not the only one to take the blame. UNESCO is complaining about the lack of support from Thailand’s administration to develop wildlife’s corridor in a move to protect animals from vehicle traffic on highways inside the park. UNESCO has already announced that it could put the park into its list of “endangered world heritage sites,” if nothing is rapidly done.