Improved protection for the World Heritage listed Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex was the focus of a multi-stakeholder meeting at Khao Yai National Park on August 8, 2009.
Laws for forest conservation and their application across the vast and important reserve were discussed by senior members of the Royal Thai Police, Army, Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the regional ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network, as well as district prosecutors, local elected officials and community representatives.
FREELAND was allocated a session to detail our ranger training programs and community outreach pilots. As the only non-government conservation group invited to present, FREELAND’s important role in conservation of the Forest Complex was acknowledged and applauded.
However, the meeting also highlighted that much more work needs to be done (particularly in the area of community engagement for forest stewardship) to tackle threats such as poaching, illegal tree cutting and encroachment.
FREELAND staff used this occasion to provide Nature Crime Investigation manuals to the Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, as part of ongoing efforts to help build law enforcement capacity for biodiversity protection and keep environmental crime high on the agenda.