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Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex

Thailand
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Forest fragmentation / Need for ecological corridors

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Illegal activities (poaching and illegal logging)
  • Road expansion, in particular regarding Highway 304
  • Forest fragmentation, connectivity and the need for ecological corridors
  • Encroachment
  • Management Planning
  • Tourism and visitor levels
  • Dams
  • Cattle grazing
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

February/March 2012: joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2014: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 20 February 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/590/documents/. The report presents the following information:

  • Development of a five-year Action Plan on Prevention and Suppression of Illegal Logging and Trade (2014 – 2019) for the property. Since October 2013, 701 cases were detected, with 473 arrests made and 452.602 m3 of Siamese rosewood seized;
  • Patrols are strengthened with the use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), aerial patrols, and support from military and police;
  • A regional dialogue with government representatives from Thailand, Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam and representatives from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), IUCN, and NGOs took place in Bangkok in December 2014. Areas for continued and increased cooperation in preventing illegal logging and trade in Siamese rosewood were identified, including the involvement of other regional and global bodies such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), INTERPOL, and the World Customs Organization;
  • The State Party is considering the feasibility of upgrading Siamese rosewood from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I;
  • In 2014, 443 cases of encroachment were brought to prosecution. The court ordered the removal of buildings in 158 of these. The remaining 285 remain under investigation. A restoration plan (2015-2019) foresees the restoration of 20,000 ha of encroached land, including 2,100 ha in 2015;
  • Work on widening the sections of Highway 304 that cross the property is expected to commence in 2015, including the construction of wildlife corridors. The construction of a tourist centre near these corridors is one of the proposed measures to ensure their effectiveness;
  • A feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are currently being undertaken for the development of Highway 348, which crosses the property. No plans exist for the re-opening of Road 3426 in the property;
  • Implementation of activities under the Environmental Impact Mitigation Plan for the Huay Samong Dam in 2014, and allocation of funding for such work in 2015. The transfer of responsibility for five existing dams to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is in process. DNP did not approve a feasibility study for the proposed Huay Saton Dam in the property, and the Royal Irrigation Department has been requested to consider alternatives outside the property;
  • Illegal grazing has been significantly reduced, with as few as 30 remaining head of cattle reported.

Progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission is also reported.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The on-going implementation of the Environmental Impact Mitigation Plan for the Huay Samong Dam is noted, and the transfer of responsibility for this dam and its reservoir to DNP was a key recommendation of the 2012 mission. The non-approval of a feasibility study for the proposed Huay Saton Dam within the property is welcomed.

The State Party’s significant efforts to address illegal logging are commendable. The development of an Action Plan is welcomed, as is the involvement of other countries concerned. In annex II of its report, regarding the outcomes of these efforts, the State Party presents statistics for the fiscal year 2013-2014 (October 2013 – September 2014) and the first three months of fiscal year 2014 – 2015 (October 2014 – September 2015). As such, these statistics are not comparable, and do not enable an analysis of whether a significant reduction in the threat of illegal logging is being achieved. More time will be required to demonstrate results. It is therefore recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue its efforts, and that it request the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre comparable statistics on illegal logging of Siamese rosewood as soon as the fiscal year 2014 – 2015 is finished. It is recommended that the State Party be urged to provide information on any poaching of other wildlife species, which often occurs in association with illegal logging.

It is also recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to further increase the allocation of resources to park rangers in the property, in order to ensure that they dispose of sufficient patrol provisions, equipment and reinforced capacity to fight against heavily armed poaching groups. It is further recommended that the State Party is urged to ensure that maximum legal penalties are implemented in a consistent manner, in order to deter poaching.

Activities to address encroachment are noted, as is progress in the removal of illegal cattle. However, it appears that despite these efforts, encroachment and construction of new resorts continue. Also, while encroachment in Thap Lan National Park has received considerable attention, publicly available satellite imagery suggests that encroachment is also significant in Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary and Ta Phraya National Park, including along Highway 348 which crosses the narrow Ta Phraya National Park. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to increase its efforts to address the issue of encroachment throughout the property, including by imposing and enforcing a ban on the construction of new resorts within its boundaries.

The confirmation that Road 3426 will remain closed is welcomed. It is recommended that the State Party be requested to provide further information on the proposed development of Highway 348, including whether or not this will entail the construction of wildlife corridors as in the case of Highway 304, and a copy of the EIA which should include an assessment of impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment. It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to ensure the effective implementation and rigorous monitoring of impact mitigation measures during the widening of Highway 304 and the construction of wildlife corridors, in order to minimize impacts on the OUV of the property. The construction of tourist centres in corridor areas may be inappropriate, as the increased human presence that would result could be counterproductive to the effectiveness of these corridors.  It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to collaborate with the World Heritage Centre to ensure that all tourism activities for the property are in line with the objectives of sustainable tourism management and to develop a sustainable tourism strategy for the property, using the new capacity building tools developed through the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme to promote conservation and local community development.  

Notwithstanding the commendable efforts of the State Party to address these issues, encroachment and poaching of rosewood remain significant and urgent threats to the property. More time is required to demonstrate whether the State Party’s efforts are achieving the desired results in eliminating these threats. If they persist, these threats would represent a clear ascertained danger to the property’s OUV in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.71, whereby the Committee decided to consider the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 39th session, it is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit a report on the state of conservation of the property for examination by the Committee at its 40th session, when the Committee should consider again whether the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger is warranted.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7B.17
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (Thailand) (N 590rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to prevent and suppress illegal logging in the property, including the development of an Action Plan, welcomes the international cooperation with Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam in controlling illegal logging and trade of Siamese rosewood, and encourages the State Party to continue these efforts;
  4. Notes the State Party’s efforts to address encroachment and the construction of illegal resorts in the property, as well as progress achieved with the removal of illegal cattle;
  5. Considers that more time is required to demonstrate whether the State Party’s efforts are achieving the desired result of eliminating rosewood poaching, and requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre comparable statistics on rosewood poaching as soon as data are available for fiscal year 2014 – 2015, and to also provide information on any poaching of other wildlife species, which often occurs in association with illegal logging;
  6. Urges the State Party to further increase the allocation of resources to park rangers in the property, in order to ensure that they dispose of sufficient patrol provisions, equipment and reinforced capacity to conduct enforcement operations against heavily armed poaching groups, and also urges the State Party to ensure that maximum legal penalties are implemented in a consistent manner, in order to deter poaching;
  7. Notes with concern that encroachment and the construction of illegal resorts appear to continue despite the State Party’s efforts, and that encroachment appears to be more widespread in other parts of the property than previously reported;
  8. Also considers that if they persist, poaching of valuable timber and encroachment would clearly represent ascertained danger to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also notes the on-going implementation of the Environmental Impact Mitigation Plan for Huay Samong Dam, and also welcomes the non-approval of a feasibility study for the proposed Huay Saton Dam within the property;
  10. Further welcomes the State Party’s confirmation that Road 3462 will remain closed, and also requests the State Party to provide further information on the proposed development of Highway 348, including information on whether the construction of wildlife corridors is foreseen, and a copy of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which should include an assessment of potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  11. Further requests the State Party to ensure effective implementation and rigorous monitoring of impact mitigation measures to minimize impacts on OUV from the widening of Highway 304 and the construction of wildlife corridors, and further urges the State Party to reconsider the planned construction of tourism centres in corridor areas, in view of the potential of the resulting increased human presence to be counterproductive to the corridors’ effectiveness;
  12. Recommends that the State Party collaborate with the World Heritage Centre to ensure that all tourism activities for the property are in line with the objectives of sustainable tourism management, and also encourages the State Party to develop a sustainable tourism strategy for the property using the new capacity tools developed through the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme to promote conservation and local community development;
  13. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7B.17

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to prevent and suppress illegal logging in the property, including the development of an Action Plan, welcomes the international cooperation with Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam in controlling illegal logging and trade of Siamese rosewood, and encourages the State Party to continue these efforts;
  4. Notes the State Party’s efforts to address encroachment and the construction of illegal resorts in the property, as well as progress achieved with the removal of illegal cattle;
  5. Considers that more time is required to demonstrate whether the State Party’s efforts are achieving the desired result of eliminating rosewood poaching, and requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre comparable statistics on rosewood poaching as soon as data are available for fiscal year 2014 – 2015, and to also provide information on any poaching of other wildlife species, which often occurs in association with illegal logging;
  6. Urges the State Party to further increase the allocation of resources to park rangers in the property, in order to ensure that they dispose of sufficient patrol provisions, equipment and reinforced capacity to conduct enforcement operations against heavily armed poaching groups, and also urges the State Party to ensure that maximum legal penalties are implemented in a consistent manner, in order to deter poaching;
  7. Notes with concern that encroachment and the construction of illegal resorts appear to continue despite the State Party’s efforts, and that encroachment appears to be more widespread in other parts of the property than previously reported;
  8. Also considers that if they persist, poaching of valuable timber and encroachment would clearly represent and ascertained danger to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also notes the on-going implementation of the Environmental Impact Mitigation Plan for Huay Samong Dam, and also welcomes the non-approval of a feasibility study for the proposed Huay Saton Dam within the property;
  10. Further welcomes the State Party’s confirmation that Road 3426 will remain closed, and also requests the State Party to provide further information on the proposed development of Highway 348, including information on whether the construction of wildlife corridors is foreseen, and a copy of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which should include an assessment of potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  11. Further requests the State Party to ensure effective implementation and rigorous monitoring of impact mitigation measures to minimize impacts on OUV from the widening of Highway 304 and the construction of wildlife corridors, and further urges the State Party to reconsider the planned construction of tourism centres in corridor areas, in view of the potential of the resulting increased human presence to be counterproductive to the corridors’ effectiveness;
  12. Recommends that the State Party collaborate with the World Heritage Centre to ensure that all tourism activities for the property are in line with the objectives of sustainable tourism management, and also encourages the State Party to develop a sustainable tourism strategy for the property using the new capacity tools developed through the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme to promote conservation and local community development;
  13. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Thailand
Date of Inscription: 2005
Category: Natural
Criteria: (x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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