1.         Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (Thailand) (N 590rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2005

Criteria  (x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/590/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/590/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/590/

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:

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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.

Decision Adopted: 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 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.