Thai version

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thailand National Parks at risk!

Due to the high number of tourists that move through Thailand's protected areas each year, five national parks have suffered severe damage to their ecosystems, said Dr Chumpol Sukkasem, director of the National Parks Office, at a meeting held last week to discuss the issue. The national parks currently at risk include Khao Yai on the border of Nakhon Ratchasima, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri provinces, Erawan in Kanchanaburi, Doi Suthep-Pui in Chiang Mai, Khao Laemya on Koh Samet in Rayong and the Surin islands in Phang Nga. The meeting discussed the capacity of the parks to handle a large influx of visitors. The National Parks Office found that tourist quotas in these five areas had exceeded capacity, causing damage to the environment as a result of toxic emissions from vehicles, noise pollution, careless waste disposal and lack of respect for natural ecosystems and restricted areas. Most national parks cannot support large numbers of tourists using public utilities, accommodation areas, restrooms and garbage bins simultaneously, which has led tourists to enter restricted areas in search of privacy.
Be this as it is, we do not believe that Thailand wants to discourage foreign visitors to visit the National Parks, because the entrance fee for foreigners is ten times the fee for Thais! (Source: The nation)

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