Integration of Myanmar park with Thai forest complex proposed

Integration of Myanmar park with Thai forest complex proposed
A herd of elephants at the Tsavo East National Park in Nairobi. The forest integration project at the Thai-Myanmar border would would large animals like elephants to cross back and forth more easily and support biodiversity growth.

THAILAND - Thailand is asking Myanmar to integrate its Tanintharyi National Park, which is near the Thai-Myanmar border, into the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex that will soon become a natural World Heritage site.

Representatives of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) visited the forest complex yesterday and will continue to observe it today.

Tanintharyi National Park is next to western forestlands in Thailand's Phetchaburi and Ratchaburi provinces.

Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park, said the idea was discussed during a Tuesday meeting on bilateral cooperation in forest and wildlife conservation between Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and its Myanmar counterparts.

The matter was discussed among Thai-Myanmar policy-makers while the IUCN facilitated academic coordination, because it believes the Thai-Myanmar border area needs a project to link both countries' forestlands, where large animals such as elephants often cross back and forth.

"If the forestland integration were done and the area were declared a natural World Heritage site, both countries could jointly and more effectively manage this forest resources," Chaiwat said.

He said he expected the forest complex to be registered as Thailand's third natural World Heritage site next year after the country had answered all questions about forestland management.

The two previous sites were the Thungyai Naresuan-Huai Kha Khang Wildlife Sanctuaries in 1991 and the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex in 2005.

The 4,822-square-kilometre Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex is composed of Phetchaburi's Kaeng Krachan National Park, Prachuap Khiri Khan's Kui Buri National Park, Ratchaburi's Phachi River Wildlife Sanctuary and Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Park.

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