Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Effectiveness of protected area management in Thailand

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  • The main objectives of this study are to identify the nature of threats to protected areas and assess the effectiveness of protected area systems and management in Thailand, and to evaluate the use of conservation biology concepts in protected area management. The results from a survey of the heads of Thai national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, interviews and discussions with experts and the staff of the Thai Royal Forest Department (RFD), site visits, and a review of in-house documents of the RFD suggest that overall threats to protected areas throughout the country are illegal hunting, illegal logging, land encroachment, extraction of non-timber forest products, and pressure from people living around the protected units. Similar patterns of threats were also found when data were evaluated by region and by protected category. Overall level of impact from the threats are high in all protected areas, whereas spatial and temporal scales of impacts are low, resistance of protected areas to threats is high, and resilience of areas is low. Overall effectiveness of protected areas is rated at a moderate level; effectiveness of the system is high but effectiveness of management is moderate. The study also revealed gaps in the evaluation of effectiveness of the systems and management, related to reserve design, selection, prioritization, evaluation, policy, management, and public involvement. Recommendations to improve protected area system and management in Thailand are provided. Guidelines to apply conservation biology concepts in protected area management are also suggested. Research direction should focus on conflict resolution, building the capacity of protected area systems and management, restoration in deforested ecosystem, and more efficient use of timber and non-timber forest products.
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