Park department agrees to suspend road upgrade project after protest by green groups
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has yielded to pressure from environment groups by deciding to put on hold a project to upgrade a road leading to Khao Panern Thung peak inside the Kaeng Krachan national park in Phetchaburi province.
The department’s deputy spokesman, Mr Komkrit Sethbuppha, posted a message on the department’s website on Sunday saying that the department has suspended the project because of concern voiced by several parties that the project might threaten wildlife in the park.
In the meantime, he said the department invited all stakeholders, including the 15 green groups that oppose the road project, for talks at the department on Monday to work out a compromise to the conflict.
Komkrit insisted that the plan was to improve the road surface from asphalt to concrete for the safety of tourists and officials travelling on the road from Ban Krang camp site to Khao Panern Thung.
Earlier, the department chief Mr Tunya Netithammakul reaffirmed that road maintenance was necessary for the safety and convenience of tourists and to facilitate road patrol by park officials.
15 green groups led by Sueb Nakhasathien Foundation and the Bird and Nature Conservation Association planned to petition the prime minister at the Government House on Monday demanding him to suspend the project, claiming that it would threaten wildlife in the park and could undermine Thailand’s plan to have the Kaeng Krachan forest complex to be declared as Unesco’s World Heritage site.