Coast area floated for Unesco title

Coast area floated for Unesco title

The Andaman Sea Nature Reserves of Thailand have been added to a tentative list of new Unesco World Heritage sites, according to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).

Sunee Saksue, director of the DNP's Foreign Affairs Division, spoke to media yesterday, after a mobile cabinet in Krabi gave a green light to the proposal to promote the area on Nov 16 last year.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who chairs the World Heritage Protection Convention National Committee, had endorsed the proposal, and now, with the government seal of approval, the Office of the Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning would submit it to the global agency, said Ms Sunee.

The foreign affairs director also said that as the Andaman Sea Nature Reserves of Thailand have already been listed on Unesco's website, the DNP and related agencies will apply for registration of the property as a natural heritage site.

The nominated stretch runs along the coastal areas of the Andaman Sea in Ranong, Phangnga and Phuket which cover six national parks -- Mu Koh Ranong, Laem Son, Mu Koh Surin, Mu Koh Similan, Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang and Sirinat.

Included are also the Ranong biosphere reserve and mangrove conservation area which spans the three main eco-regions covered by the proposal -- mangroves and inshore islands, the offshore islands and the beaches and coastal gallery forests.

Laem Son National Park in Ranong and Phangnga provinces, which is also part of the proposed site, serves as a natural hatching and nursing hub for key marine life such as olive Ridley sea turtles.

The park was previously declared the world's first biosphere reserve.

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