Parks win backing for heritage list
The cabinet has agreed to push Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani and Tham Luang national park in Chiang Rai to be recognised as Asean Heritage Parks (AHP).
Deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said yesterday that the cabinet has approved the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's proposal to get the two national parks listed with the AHP committee as heritage parks.
Khao Sok National Park encompasses evergreen forests, limestone caves and peat swamps, making it an ecologically diverse area which is home to many endangered wildlife and plant species.
Similarly, the Tham Luang Khun Nam Nang Non National park in Chiang Rai -- where 12 young footballers and their coach were dramatically rescued after being trapped for over two weeks following a flash flood in 2018 -- is home to many rare animals and plant species which call its deciduous forests home.
All team members along with their coach were brought safely out of the cave complex in a rescue effort which attracted global attention.
Ms Rachada said the Tham Luang cave system stretches some 10,316 metres in total, making it the fourth longest in the country.
The forest park is also home to at least 10 ethnic highlander tribes -- including the Akha -- which have peacefully co-existed with nature and worked hard to preserve the national park's ecological bounty.
So far, there are six AHP-listed sites in Thailand, all of which are national parks -- namely Khao Yai, Koh Tarutao, Koh Surin, Kaeng Prachan, Had Jao Mai and Koh Ang Thong.