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Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex

Thailand
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • 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 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 26 January 2016, the State Party submitted a comprehensive report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/590/documents, which presents progress on a number of issues previously addressed by the Committee, as follows:

  • Efforts to combat illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood include provision of equipment, capacity building and financial benefits to forest rangers, joint patrols between forest rangers, army and border police, intensified law enforcement, forest restoration, and increased international cooperation, including with the Association of South-East Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) and with Cambodia both at the ministerial level and on coordinated patrols in border areas;
  • Comparative statistics on Rosewood poaching show a rapid increase in recorded cases between 2012 and 2014 (when 421.05 m3 were seized), and a decrease in 2015 (107.39 m3);
  • Confirmation that illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood may be considered an ascertained danger to the property in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, but emphasis on the fact that Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is maintained;
  • No evidence found of wildlife poaching in association with illegal logging;
  • By end 2015, a total of 443 cases of encroachment are recorded with 380 cases still in various stages of process. Community Forests adjacent to the property are managed by local communities in cooperation with the Royal Forest Department;
  • Ongoing implementation of the Action Plan to address environmental impact of the Huay Samong Dam. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Huay Satone Dam within the property has not been allowed;
  • Road 3462 through the property is permanently closed for public use. No EIA has been allowed for expansion of Highway 348, and studies have shown that this area is rich in biodiversity;
  • Construction of wildlife corridors across Highway 304 is planned to be completed by 2018. No visitor centers will be constructed in corridor areas;
  • A Strategic Plan on Tourism in World Natural Heritage is currently being developed for integration in the property’s Management Plan 2014-2018.

The State Party further reports on the implementation of the Road Map to support the property, presented to the Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015).

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The State Party’s recognition that the threat posed by Rosewood poaching represents an ascertained danger, in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, but that it considers that the OUV is still maintained, should be noted. It should be recalled that the Committee, at its 39th session, decided to consider, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to the OUV, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 40th session. It is therefore recommended that the Committee inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The political will demonstrated by the State Party to address Rosewood poaching as a matter of high priority should be commended. International collaboration to prevent and suppress illegal trade in Siamese Rosewood is a crucial aspect of the response to this threat. In that regard, the close collaboration with Cambodia on coordinated patrols in border areas is particularly welcome.

IUCN, through the project “Protected Areas and Transboundary Conservation for Climate Change Adaptation: Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai World Heritage Site” implemented by its Thailand office with financial support from the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF), has provided support to the State Party in addressing illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood, while fostering transboundary collaboration with Cambodia and sharing lessons on buffer zone management and community livelihood development. Following the implementation of this project, IUCN found that local stakeholders both in Thailand and Cambodia are very supportive of the collaboration on transboundary conservation.

Despite the efforts to combat illegal logging and trade, these threats continue to increase in severity as a result of the rising market value of Siamese Rosewood. It is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the States Parties of Thailand, Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam to further strengthen their collaboration to combat illegal logging at the source, reduce demand at its destination, and intercept shipments of illegally logged Rosewood during transit. Although the State Party states that no evidence was found of poaching occurring in association with illegal logging, these illegal activities commonly occur in conjunction, and IUCN continues to receive reports that poaching is relatively frequent in parts of the property. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to undertake further investigations to determine the extent to which poaching, associated or not with illegal logging, is a threat to the property’s OUV.

Encroachment continues to be a significant problem in the property. While the State Party notes that no new encroachment for resort development was found in 2015, no such assurance is given for agricultural encroachment. Efforts by the State Party to engage with local communities to verify land rights in forest areas are an important step towards addressing encroachment in some areas, however it should be noted that clarification of land rights is typically a complex and time consuming process. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to ensure that this process is undertaken in a fully transparent manner and with full participation of local communities.

It is welcomed that the State Party confirmed that no visitor centers will be constructed at wildlife corridors across Highway 304, and it is noted that EIAs for the Huay Satone Dam within the property and for the expansion of Highway 348, also within the property, have not been allowed. It is unclear if not allowing an EIA implies that the concerned projects will not be permitted to proceed, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to confirm this. It is also noted that the State Party intends to consider whether wildlife corridors will be foreseen on the basis of the results of the biodiversity surveys around Highway 348.

The ongoing development of a Strategic Plan on Tourism in World Natural Heritage is also welcome, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit a copy of the draft plan to the World Heritage Centre and IUCN for review prior to its finalization.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.90
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (Thailand) (N 590rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.17, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party for the significant efforts taken to address the threat from illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood, and welcomes the international collaboration, including coordinated patrols with the State Party of Cambodia, to prevent and suppress illegal trade in Siamese Rosewood;
  4. Notes that illegal logging is still a serious concern as a result of the increasing market value of Siamese Rosewood and therefore, requests the State Party to provide updated statistics on illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood for fiscal years 2014-2016 as well as outcomes from the implementation of the Action Plan to Prevent and Suppress Illegal Logging of Siamese Rosewood in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (DPKYFC);
  5. Urges the States Parties of Thailand, Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam to further strengthen their collaboration to combat illegal logging at the source, reduce demand at its destination, and intercept shipments of illegally logged Rosewood during transit;
  6. Also requests the State Party to undertake further investigations to determine the extent to which poaching, associated or not with illegal logging, is a threat to the property’s OUV;
  7. Notes with appreciation the efforts undertaken by the State Party to address encroachment and the construction of illegal resorts, and further requests the State Party to ensure that the process of clarifying land rights in forest areas is undertaken in a fully transparent manner and with full participation of the concerned local communities;
  8. Also notes that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the Huay Satone Dam and the expansion of Highway 348, both within the property, have not been allowed, and requests furthermore the State Party to confirm unambiguously and in writing that these projects will not be permitted to proceed;
  9. Requests moreover the State Party to invite an IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to monitor and evaluate effective implementation of the Action Plan on Curbing Illegal Logging and Trade of Siamese Rosewood in Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex 2014-2019;
  10. Requests in addition the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft Strategic Plan on Tourism in World Natural Heritage for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017, with a view to considering, in light of assessment of the Reactive Monitoring mission, possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.90

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.17, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party for the significant efforts taken to address the threat from illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood, and welcomes the international collaboration, including coordinated patrols with the State Party of Cambodia, to prevent and suppress illegal trade in Siamese Rosewood;
  4. Notes with concern that illegal logging continues to represent a significant and increasingly severe threat to the property as a result of the increasing market value of Siamese Rosewood;
  5. Also notes the State Party’s confirmation that illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood within the property may be considered as ascertained danger in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, but that it considers that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is still being maintained;
  6. Decides to inscribe Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (Thailand) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  7. Urges the States Parties of Thailand, Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam to further strengthen their collaboration to combat illegal logging at the source, reduce demand at its destination, and intercept shipments of illegally logged Rosewood during transit;
  8. Requests the State Party to undertake further investigations to determine the extent to which poaching, associated or not with illegal logging, is a threat to the property’s OUV;
  9. Notes with appreciation the efforts undertaken by the State Party to address encroachment and the construction of illegal resorts, and also requests the State Party to ensure that the process of clarifying land rights in forest areas is undertaken in a fully transparent manner and with full participation of the concerned local communities;
  10. Further notes that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the Huay Satone Dam and the expansion of Highway 348, both within the property, have not been allowed, and further requests the State Party to confirm unambiguously and in writing that these projects will not be permitted to proceed;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, a set of corrective measures and a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  12. Requests moreover the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft Strategic Plan on Tourism in World Natural Heritage for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  13. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.
Report year: 2016
Thailand
Date of Inscription: 2005
Category: Natural
Criteria: (x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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