Broad priorities to improve PA
management includes developing a
national PA system plan and an
appropriate legal framework for its
Establish a PA System for conservation
and designate measures for
maintaining ecosystem protection,
especially for large forest expanses and
Undertake a national protected area
Prepare a comprehensive PA law.
Introduce a user pays approach to
maintaining PA services and products.
Thailand should formulate and
adopt a statement of the vision for
the PA system.
Examine the potential of the full
range of PA governance types to
contribute to the conservation estate
in Thailand and how these might be
DNP, through a participatory
process, should formulate national
policies to guide PA activities.
Develop a background paper and
hold a national workshop on
whether PA Categories should form
the basis for a new typology of PAs
Puts people at the center of development
Focus on participation of local people in natural resource mgmt,
including for climate change
Conserve & create security for natural resources & environment by
safeguarding & restoring forests and conservation areas
Supports >19% of land for conservation, integrated watershed
mgmt, research on resource mgmt, marine conservation, databases,
innovative fund-raising from biodiversity
So why have a System Plan?
Covering over 20% of the land and significant parts
of the sea, Thailand’s PAs must be managed well.
This requires making the individual sites part of the
social, economic, and environment context of the
Demonstrate the major contributions PAs make to the
culture and economy of Thailand.
Provide a framework for appropriate objectives for each
PA so that the system as a whole meets national
More reasons for a System Plan
Suggest additional areas to ensure all biodiversity is included
in the System.
Provide a clear framework for appropriate objectives for each
PA so the system as a whole meets national objectives, link
PAs to each other & thereby increase their effective size,
identify contributions of research and monitoring, & show
how PAs contribute to national climate change efforts.
Establish policy framework so Management Plan of each site
meets the site requirements while also supporting national
policies on tourism, financing, research, road design, etc.
Provide the basis for an enhanced communications and
And most important
Capitalize on the full range of management options
and models offered by the system of categories
prepared by the World Commission on Protected
Areas (which has 14 members in Thailand).
This will facilitate systematic conservation
planning, through presenting a more nuanced
picture of protected areas rather than assuming they
are all under identical management.
So what should a System Plan
for Thailand include?
Chapter 1. Fundamental principles so
everyone understands the approach
Define the basic terms and concepts, such as
“protected area”, “biological diversity”,
“ecosystem”, “ecosystem services” “payments of
ecosystem services”, “species”, “genetic diversity”,
Describe the current legal basis, both domestic and
international (such as the Program of Work on PAs
of the Convention on Biological Diversity), and the
organizational structure of PAs within government.
State the guiding principles for the System Plan.
Chapter 2. Then build on agreed
vision & objectives for the System Plan
Today, we are seeking your
input to a vision and strategic
objectives for the system plan.
Chapter 3. We next need to identify the
major challenges faced by PA managers
Provision of fresh water
for drinking, agriculture,
electricity generating, etc.
Regulation of floods and
extreme weather events
Purification of wastes
Delivery of nutrient-rich
sediments to flood plains
These are worth US$7 trillion
Chapter 5. The System
Plan then uses landscapes
and seascapes to link PAs
to each other and to
adjacent land uses.
This approach is already
being taken in some parts
of the system, and
provides the basis for
working with other land
users, perhaps drawing on
the Town and Country
Chapter 6. Completing the system. A
critical section of the System Plan
considers potential additional sites to
link PAs in the landscape and consider
new sites that would conserve
biodiversity and deliver ecosystem
services. This requires an Expert Panel
to prepare detailed advice on this topic.
Chapter 7. Management
Categories and Governance
That leads to a crucial issue:
Management categories, zoning,
Advantages of a Categories
Facilitates systematic conservation planning by showing that
different kinds of sites have different management objectives.
Facilitates determination of priorities, application of
innovative financing, and communications and outreach.
Provides a way to address the call for greater involvement of
Brings Thailand into conformity with the CBD call for “a
single international classification system for PAs” and “to
assign PA management categories.. For “providing
information consistent with the refined IUCN categories for
Number of National Parks
by Size of Country
Area (sq km)
# of NPs
The System of Categories can be
implemented along with a System of Zones
What is “Governance”?
Governance is “the interactions among
structures, processes, and traditions that
determine how power and responsibilities are
exercised, how decisions are taken and how
citizens or other stakeholders have their say.”
The PA management categories are applied with
a typology of governance types: a description of
who holds authority and responsibility for the
4 broad types of
2. Shared governance
3. Private governance
4. Governance by local
Type 1. Governance by
In most countries, central government is responsible for
nationally important protected areas, with protected areas of
regional or local interest managed by provincial or local
In Thailand, DNP is organized with regional offices,
decentralization of management has been discussed and
considered. Some provinces are providing budgetary support
to protected areas within the province.
Managing PAs at the provincial level could build local support
and provide budgetary support.
Protected areas clusters may spread across two or more
provinces, requiring at least support and coordination from the
government of each province in the cluster.
But perhaps a “national park” such as Nam Tok
Sam Lan in Saraburi could be managed more
effectively at the provincial level, as Category III.
Type 2: Shared Governance
The National Parks Act and the Wildlife Preservation Act provide for
representatives of civil society on national-level committees, and site-
level Protected Areas Committees have been established. These
committees are advisory and have only a modest influence on
DNP’s Pilot Protected Areas Project tested joint management in six
national parks (Thaleban, Laem Son, Chalerm Rattanakosin, Phu
Phaman, Ob Luang and Doi Phu Ka) about a decade ago.
PA categories IV, V, and VI lend themselves to greater co-
management, with local communities gaining greater involvement in
governance in collaboration with DNP.
Co-management should proceed in a step-by-step manner, beginning
with a few demonstration sites or learning from sites where co-
management is already effective.
”Joint Management of Protected Areas”
project (2005-) in Huay Kha Khaeng
developed new relations with the
surrounding communities, NGOs, and
various government agencies and is now
being applied more widely.
Type 3. Private Governance
Thailand has few large private land holdings that would
qualify as a protected area, though private ownership of some
sites that might qualify as Category III Natural Monuments
could be possible.
Perhaps some universities, non-governmental conservation
organizations, or socially-responsible corporations could obtain
control over relatively large areas of land and water that are
important for conservation and could qualify as protected areas
as defined in the System Plan.
It probably is sufficient to wait until the possibility is closer to
reality before developing a response, but it is worth at least
starting to consider the implications for conservation of such
Khao Kitchakut National Park contains
an important cultural site, privately
Type 4: Governance by
In some parts of the world, such as India, “community
conserved areas” have been established, and some
community forests and buffer zones in Thailand are managed
by local communities.
This type of governance is foreseen in the 2007 Constitution
and the 2012-2016 NESDP.
It may be possible, on a trial basis, for local communities to
be given governance responsibility for some portions or
zones of Category IV, V, or VI protected areas.
Each community (n=10) has demarcated conservation forest,
utilization forest, and agricultural lands, with accompanying
rules and regulations
Have formed community watershed network to coordinate
natural resource management throughout the watershed.
Research showed on a per household basis, net benefits from
PA conservation increased significantly with community
participation in PA mgmt (more than Ob Luang NP &DI NP)
Mae Khong Kha, a community-
Conflict with illegal settlers in protected
areasis an eternal problem in Thailand, with
as many as 600,000 people living within the
protected areas. Type 4 governance, combined
with a new approach to categories IV, V, or VI
and innovative application of zoning, may
offer some innovative ways to deal with this
Chapter 8. Based on the material covered,
the System Plan then considers how to
generate additional funding.
• This needs appropriate legislation,
regulations, oversight, and incentives.
• Payment for the ecosystem services related to
water provided by PAs.
• Payment for carbon storage and climate
• Support from the private sector and the
Chapter 9. Building a Broader Base of
Support for Protected Areas
• PAs already draw over 10 million visitors per
year, but how to convert these into active
• A Communications Strategy is proposed,
drawing especially on social media such as
Facebook (18 million users in Thailand and
improving relevant websites).
• Building a broader base of supporters is also
proposed, with details on how to accomplish.
The success of the System Plan
depends on clear policy guidance:
Builds on the high-level policy directions provided
by the Constitution, the NESDP, and relevant
A systematic compilation of existing policies.
Revisions of policies where required.
New policies, prepared through consultation with
affected stakeholders, on topics like research,
tourism, cultural values, and sustainable use.
Chapter 11. Building the capacity to
implement the System Plan
Building capacity needs incentives,
reinforcement, and application.
Innovative approaches to PA management
require the staff trained to implement modern
ways PAs are being managed.
PA management needs to be a career, with
regular training courses and clear ways of
advancing within DNP.
Build on the traditional knowledge of forest-
dwelling people and fishing communities.
The proposed System plan will help ensure that
waters continue to flow, wildlife flourishes, and
the Kingdom’s natural heritage is conserved.
Q. 1. Is the content and
Is the content appropriate?
Is anything important being
Q. 2. What about vision
and strategic objectives?
How can the Vision be agreed at the
Is the following list of Strategic
Objectives complete and appropriate?
Should some be added (or deleted)?
How can the vision and strategic
objectives be agreed at the highest
Here are some options for Strategic
Design PAs to deliver benefits to local communities, and to
other sectors beyond the PA;
Enhance the range of funding options for PAs;
Design PA system as part of national climate change
Allocate PAs to categories based on objectives of mgmt;
Use PAs to support research for conservation and economic
Ensure that all biodiversity is included within the PA system
Provide an information and outreach program that will
enhance PAs as part of national identity (along with tourism
Q. 3. What benefits of protected areas
deserve the greatest attention?
Benefits to local people Natural
Carbon sequestration and storage
Soil formation and fertility
Watershed protection and regulation
Air quality Pest & disease control
Decomposition of wastes Landscape beauty
How protected areas help support the
Conservation of biodiversity
Q. 4. How can protected areas best be
linked to other land uses?
Army camps/Navy bases
Q. 5. How to use the Categories,
zoning, and governance to work with
Joint management involved
local villagers, DNP, and local
Lessons learned from Ob Luang National Park :
• villagers have long experience in natural
resource management, including conflict
management & conservation;
• meeting the needs of communities, such as
joint designation of boundaries & zones, is
• building trust through open communication &
joint learning is an important part of the
• the willingness of the National Park officers to
support the project was a key success factor.
Q. 6. How can any gaps in the system
Army camps/Navy bases
Category 1 Watersheds
Important Bird Areas
And what is the most effective process for
filling the gaps?
Inland wetlands provide monetary
values of $981-44,597 per hectare
per year. More need to be added
to the PA system.
Q. 7. What are the barriers that are
preventing better fund-raising?
Lack of incentives
Lack of policy/legal support
Lack of site business plans
Lack of public confidence
Q. 8. Building Broader Support: Who
cares about protected areas?
And how can they best be reached?
Q. 9. Finally, what are the key policy
Relations with local people