11 July 2024

Thailand is commemorating the 19 forest rangers who died, and those who were injured in the line of duty protecting forests and wildlife, for World Ranger Day, which falls on July 31st each year.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa presided over a ceremony today (Saturday) in the Khao Yai National Park, held for the 19 dead rangers. 650 forest rangers attended the event.

The minister praised forest rangers for their dedication to protecting forests and wildlife against poachers, despite the risks and low salaries of about 9,000 baht a month.

He promised them better welfare, stipends and survival kits, such as water filters, adding that he prefers to see the rangers receiving welfare while they are still alive, than their families receiving compensation after their deaths.

Meanwhile, Ratchada Suriyakul Na Ayutthaya, director-general of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation offered an assurance that about 24,000 forest rangers, currently in service, will be re-employed next fiscal year and will not be laid off, as was the case about two years ago when the budget was cur substantially, due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To commemorate the event, Minister Varawut will join rangers in a patrol for two days and one night on a jungle track at Khao Yai National Park, starting this late afternoon.