Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand: Existing controversies in the spatial context
Keywords:Kaeng Krachan National Park, Controversy, Spatial Context
AbstractThis academic paper wishes to put forward explanation and argument to present the overview of spatial context of Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park by raising significant issues reflecting the physical spaces, environments and situations from an argument for “national park” definition, enforcing relevant laws as a mechanism for determining the boundary, to giving high priority to the conservation of ecosystem and wildlife which are biodiversity indicators. On the contrary, Thai government has ignored an issue of long-term coexistence between forest and human, the Karen ethnic group people, whose cultural way of life has attached to Kaeng Krachan forest before the establishment of this national park. Furthermore, the government has adopted the no-man forest model and the forest rangers forcibly droved these people out from the area. Later, Kaeng Krachan National Park was transformed into the natural world heritage site and has been under a foreign law, namely the 1972 Convention on Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage which emphasizes on natural resource issues but overlooks the cultural heritage that reflects the cultural way of life of the Karen ethnic group. This issue leads to the continuing and unresolved conflicts and human rights violations in this area. The issue is a challenge for the Thai government to seek a solution to manage the area for the integration of diversity for both natural and cultural resource in the future and restore the confidence of countries and Thai people who are interested in the World Heritage Site situation.
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