Unesco status urged in Andaman

Unesco status urged in Andaman

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa is preparing to nominate three conservancy sites in the Andaman Sea to Unesco for recognition.

At Koh Miang of Phangnga province, Mr Varawut presided over a buoy maintenance and underwater waste collection project as the island prepares to welcome tourists to the Similan Islands on Oct 15.

He said the ministry will propose the Andaman Sea Nature Reserves to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), covering an area of over 1.8 million rai in three Andaman coastal provinces of Ranong, Phangnga and Phuket.

The nomination process will be finished in February next year, he added.

"This survey aims to study preparations during high season and diving season in the Andaman Sea. The Andaman coast is such a unique place that we wish to nominate it to Unesco as it requires long-term conservation from locals as well," said Mr Varawut.

He said he would survey the national park's readiness to welcome a limited number of tourists and manage waste collection. The park is also required to make sure diving companies do not permit outboard boats to carry divers.

He said the ministry had assigned the 26 national park chiefs to conserve underwater ecosystems and tourist safety. Staff are required to pass cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) training and provide accessible water safety equipment.

Also, he added Koh Tachai in Similan National Park will be ready to open for tourists soon as its coastal coral reefs recover. However, staff will have to limit the number of visitors to prevent diving-related damage.

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