UNESCO designates Thai mountain as a biosphere reserve

UNESCO has designated Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand’s third-highest peak, as a biosphere reserve because the northern mountain is home to an abundance of rare plants and animals along with a constellation of tribal peoples.
Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Varawut Silpa-archa relayed the news to the Thai public following the decision by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program. The Council made the decision last week at its 33rd Session in Abuja, Nigeria.
In July, UNESCO named Kaeng Krachan National Park in Petchaburi province as a new World Heritage Site. Thailand’s lush natural beauty and conservation efforts make the Kingdom ripe for other areas to receive similar recognition.
Doi Chiang Dao is the Kingdom’s fifth biosphere reserve. The mountain in northern Chiang Mai province is 7,136-feet high and joined to other limestone karsts as part of the Daen Lao mountain range near the border with Myanmar. It sits within Pha Daeng National Park and has been a wildlife sanctuary for four decades.
Minister Varawut said that the Ministry would set up a coordinating committee with other agencies to ensure the mountain is fully preserved and cared for. He urged the people in Chiang Mai to work together to protect the biosphere reserve, and added that the ministry is planning to propose other areas to UNESCO for the same status.
Scientists believe that aside from the known abundance of species populating Doi Chiang Dao there may still be as yet undiscovered species of plants and animals within its confines.
UNESCO defines biosphere reserves as “sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems.” The approach includes conflict prevention and management of biodiversity.