22 May 2024

Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister,Woravuth Silpa-archa, will meet with senior officials from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation this Friday to decide which national parks can be fully or partially reopened to the public.

The Minister said today that there are 155 national parks, including marine parks, under the supervision of the department, but only those which are ready to reopen will be allowed to do so, tentatively next month.

New normal rules will be applied to all reopening parks, such as the limitation of visitors to only 60% to 70% of pre-closure levels and the requirement for online advance booking, he said.

He warned that officials will close the parks if it is discovered that there is widespread littering.

As for marine parks, the Minister said that local park communities will be given the chance to participate in the management of tourism by setting up their own tour companies. If that is not possible, they can work as guides, so that the communities can earn revenue from the natural resources.

“The people who care most about natural resources in their communities are the best people to protect them,” said Mr.Woravuth.

Many marine species, which were rarely sighted before the coronavirus pandemic, have returned to marine parks in the Andaman Sea during the lockdown.