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Will Khao Yai National Park enter the list of UNESCO World Heritage in danger?

Thailand newspaper Bangkok Post reported that the UNESCO considers seriously to downgrade Khao Yai National Park from the World Heritage List into the World Heritage in Danger list. It is not the first time that Thailand has been warned to care more about its heritage but little seems to be done until international bodies threaten the Kingdom with some action…

BANGKOK – The line between heritage and greed in Thailand is getting increasingly thinner as money is driving most of the society. The winning of cupidity over the need to protect and nurture natural and cultural heritage is once more reflected on the threatened fate of Thailand’s most famous national park, Khao Yai.
According to the Bangkok Post daily, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is trying now to stop the illegal logging of rosewood trees within the protected Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Park. The Ministry recently decided to reinforce measures against illegal traders who decimate the park.
Not on real concern about its illegal business but more due to a potential loss of image for the country. The Bangkok Post reported that the World Heritage Committee recently sent a warning to the Kingdom. The committee and its technical adviser — the International Union for Conservation of Nature — evocated the fact that  Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai site could be downgraded to the “World Heritage in Danger” list at UNESCO World Heritage next meeting in June. 
The committee is worried about deteriorating ecological and environment conditions. Especially following the authorisation given for the construction of a road a few years ago and now its enlargement from two to four lanes with the support of Thailand’s Ministry of Transport . The road is now affecting the forest ecology as well as animals movements according to experts. There is also fear of further deterioration due a dam project nearby at Huay Satong. 
The newspaper points out that Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex is not the only site threaten by uncontrolled development. The article mentions about Tarutao Marine National Park in the South, threatened by a deep sea port project while Mae Wong National Park, a buffer green zone for the UNESCO listed  Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries, will see the construction of a dam. UNESCO possible decision to downgrade Khao Yai National Park should act as a severe warning signal and work as a wake-up call…
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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.