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6 May 2006 at 7:31 pm #3333Martin WParticipant
From an article that appeared in Bangkok Post (now unlinkable?), re threat facing a key national park in Thailand.Quote:A top wildlife official yesterday slammed the Highways
Department’s road improvement project in Khao Yai
national park, saying it severely threatens Thailand’s
newest natural world heritage site. ”This is a
destructive project,” said National Parks, Wildlife
and Plant Conservation Department chief Damrong Pidej.
”We have repeatedly asked the department to revise
the project, but they insist on going ahead with it.”
Under the plan, highway 304 through the park is to be
widened from two to four lanes to facilitate transport
between Pak Thong Chai district in Nakhon Ratchasima
and Kabin Buri district in Prachin Buri. Built decades
ago, the highway is the only shortcut between the
Northeast and the Eastern regions.
Mr Damrong said the road project would tear apart the
forest complex and seriously damage wildlife habitat.
Many wild animals had been struck by cars and killed
on this road, he said, and widening the road would
only worsen the situation.
The ongoing construction had adversely affected the
ecological system, with many wild animals, including
deer and reptiles, killed by heavy machinery working
on the project, Mr Damrong said.
”It is a great shame that we cannot protect this
world natural heritage site from destructive
activities,” he said.
The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation last
year designated the Dong Phaya Yen-Khao Yai forest
complex as a natural world heritage site for its rich
biological resources and rare tropical fauna and
Nisakorn Kositratna, secretary-general of the Office
of National Resources and Environmental Policy and
Planning, said the Highways Department was not
required to conduct an environmental impact study of
the highway 304 project because the work was taking
place on an existing road.
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