Picture courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand

Protests have sparked among the many residents of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani over the proposed creation of Hat Khanom-Mu Koh Thale Tai National Park.

Roughly 500 locals from these areas argue that the institution of the park would immediately impede their livelihoods, utilising the land they depend on for subsistence.

The general public outcry was voiced throughout a gathering held on the Khanom District Workplace on Wednesday. Excessive-ranking officers akin to Thitiwat Boonkit, the district chief of Khanom, and Wimonmart Nuipakdee, the top of the proposed national park, have been current to supervise the proceedings.

Suttipan Nurak, the consultant of the locals, criticised the dearth of readability surrounding the park’s institution plan. The residents understand the national park’s laws as an imminent menace to their conventional lifestyle. Nurak escalated the problem by delivering a letter of grievance to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, handed over by Sunthorn Photsalee, the senior everlasting secretary of Khanom district.

Wimonmat Nuipakdee, then again, confirmed that the national park’s proposed boundaries have already been trimmed down from a 197,614-rai space to 125,817 rai. This discount of 73,197 rai between 2008 and 2023 was meant to forestall encroachment on land owned by authorities businesses and residents. She defended the park’s institution, citing the Cupboard decision of April 3, 2001, and the Fisheries Act 2015 that safe the locals’ rights to fish inside a 5.4-kilometre radius from the shoreline.

Furthermore, Nuipakdee highlighted the park’s potential to function a sanctuary for numerous wildlife species, together with serows, deers, boars and southern dusky leaf monkeys. The marine space, islands and seashores inside the park’s premises would additionally doubtlessly present a habitat for pink dolphins and sea turtles.

Awaiting determination

Regardless of these arguments, residents unanimously voted against the national park’s institution. Nuipakdee clarified that the assembly was primarily geared toward addressing the locals’ considerations and complaints somewhat than serving as a public listening to on the national park’s boundaries. She additional said that the opinions of different stakeholders, such because the communities of Koh Taen, Koh Rab, and Koh Mudsum, are but to be heard, reported Bangkok Put up.

This battle follows a current petition submitted by locals from Koh Taen in Koh Samui district, who protested against the Division of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP)’s plan to incorporate their island and neighbouring areas within the Hat Khanom-Mu Koh Thale Tai National Park.

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