Sunday, June 1, 2008

World Heritage Set back

3 years ago UNESCO put Khao Yai National Park on the World Heritage list.
My mom lives and opened a small camping/bed and breakfast there. I love everything about Khao Yai, the beauty, the people, animals, the air (range 7 best ozone in the world due to 600,000 hectare of mountain/forest). Anyway the Thai newspaper (Thairath) just announced that the world heritage list made Khao Yai so popular. The result? Now every inch around Khao Yai (the mountain are protected by Thai National Park, they mean the area around the park) are all purchased by rich people, mostly businessmen, politicians, and celebrities. People who sold the land are mostly poor farmers. This is very sad. The land's price has been upgraded by the park's new status. What the new landowner want?
1. more golf and spa resort
2. luxury hotels and restaurant
3. high tech animal watching tour

Meanwhile, the tigers are hard to see these day. “Tigers are an indicator species. Their presence in the forest demonstrates a healthy ecosystem and is important in maintaining biological balance. The decline in tiger numbers is a serious environmental concern.” according to Khao Yai's National Park staff.

A paradox of land conservation.

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