A push for 20 new Ramsar sites in Thailand

Posted on 22 October 2008
Twenty nominated Ramsar sites in Thailand
Twenty nominated Ramsar sites in Thailand
WWF and the Office of Natural Resource and Environment Policy and Planning (ONEP) are working together to lay the groundwork for 20 new Ramsar sites in Thailand. The plan began with WWF Thailand identifying significant wetlands across the country. These places were chosen for their conservation value and for the way they represent a diversity of habitats, ranging from upland mountain environments to the country’s seacoasts.

Community and local administrative offices will be involved in the process of effectively delegating responsibility for Ramsar site designation to the local communities that benefit most from conserving wetlands. To ensure things go smoothly, ONEP will act as an expert facilitator in the Ramsar designation process.

WWF International in Switzerland is providing funds for the evaluation process, while WWF Thailand will profile each of the 20 wetlands based on community interviews and Ramsar criteria.  Following the completion of the evaluation, WWF will deliver its findings to ONEP. Outreach and engagement with local communities in the 20-wetland areas will play a major role in getting the sites started down the road to Ramsar status.

ONEP’s Chief of Ecosystem Management, Nirawan Pipitsombat, explained, “This project will set an important precedent for local people’s involvement in Ramsar site designation. They will be involved in the process from wetland surveys all the way to the final documentation stage. The work will also provide opportunities for specialists to educate local people and raise awareness on wetland conservation needs.”

WWF Thailand’s Senior Freshwater Specialist, Dr. Chavalit Vidthayanon, presented the overview of the 20 sites proposed and explained how each holds significant biodiversity and socio-economic value. In fact, seven of the 20 sites overlap with national parks.

The Ramsar Convention is an international agreement on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Recognized as the first global treaty of its type, it was signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. WWF has supported and participated in Ramsar since its inception. Thailand joined the Convention in 1998 and is one of 155 participating countries.

For more information, please contact:
Chavalit Vidthayanon
Senior Freshwater Specialist
WWF Thailand Country Programme
Tel: +662 5246745
Fax: +662 5246134
Email: chavalit.vidthayanon@wwfgreatermekong.org
Twenty nominated Ramsar sites in Thailand
Twenty nominated Ramsar sites in Thailand
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