Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex listed as world heritage site

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Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex has been listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC).

For more than six years Thailand has been pushing for Kaeng Krachan to be given WHC status, having previously put the national park forward in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

But the park was finally recognised during the World Heritage Committee meeting which took place online from China, between 16 – 31 July, 2021.

Kaeng Krachan forest complex is Thailand’s largest national park, covering 464,000 hectares spanning Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Ratchaburi provinces.

The forest is rich in over 490 wildlife species, several of them rare, such as tigers, tapirs and fresh-water crocodiles.

The WHC agreed that the forest complex is in line with the world heritage criteria of “universal outstanding value” due to its great diversity of flora and fauna.

Varawut Silpa-archa, minister at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, expressed his appreciation of the listing.

He said it reflected success in the management and conservation of the forest in its natural state, which helps conserve the local endemic biodiversity, including local plants and animals with exceptional scientific value.

“It marks a good beginning for our strong efforts to protect and preserve the forest complex for the next generation,” he said.

The Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex is Thailand’s 6th World Heritage Site and Thailand’s 3rd Natural World Heritage Site since the Thung Yai – Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary was registered in 1991, and Dong Phayayen in Khao Yai was registered in 2015.

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