The tipping point | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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The tipping point

The killing of forest rangers and the Mae Wong dam project are inextricably linked to the potential degradation of Thailand's most precious resources

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It is just small news, just another report of deaths. Two forest rangers were killed earlier this month by illegal poachers in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, in the country's rich Western Forest Complex. 

Some 97% of the tiger population has disappeared from the planet during the last century. Currently, there are only 3,200 tigers left in the world—300 of them in Thailand. — Photo by Staffan Widstrand/WWF

Death is an occupational hazard for these forest rangers who receive about 9,000 baht as a monthly salary for protecting our natural resources. The lush forest covering 19,000km2, and comprising of 17 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, has been a quasi-war zone between powerful poachers and underfunded and understaffed forest rangers.

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