New head of Thailand’s National Parks Department appointed

Atthaphon Charoenchansa, director-general of Marine and Coastal Resources Department, was appointed the director-general of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on Wednesday, with immediate effect by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa.

Formerly director-general of Forest Department, Atthaphon replaces Rutchada Suriyakul Na Ayutya, who was arrested in December on corruption charges and transferred out of the department.

Reacting to Atthaphon’s appointment, Sasin Chalermlarp, secretary-general of the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, said he would like the new park chief to make two matters his top priority.

The first is to restore justice to more than 300 officials in the department, who were unjustly transferred, and the second is to restore unity and morale among officials in the department.

In a phone interview with Thai PBS today (Wednesday), Atthaphon said that he will start work at the department tomorrow and confirmed that he will make these two matters his top priority.

He said that he does not feel heavy-hearted because he will do things straightforwardly, noting that there are processes and investigative committees to deal with the problems that occurred.

He also said that it is no problem for him to work with his staff and all of them should be able to work together as a team.

Atthaphon was also director-general of Pollution Control Department in 2021 and 2022, before he was moved to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.


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