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MEMBER UPDATE: Sharing experiences on marine national park management and promoting further cooperation between Korea and Thailand


The Korea National Park Service (KNPS) and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation of Thailand (DNP) recently enhanced their knowledge about marine national park management.

From 22 to 26 April 2019, nine delegates from the Republic of Korea visited the DNP headquarters, the Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and the Than Bok Khorani National Park. When visiting the two Thai marine national parks, the Korean delegation had an opportunity to learn about marine national park delineation, park facilities management, visitor safety management and waste management.

Group photo of KNPS and DNP representatives. © KNPS

In the Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, the delegation learned about the Ao Maya Rehabilitation Project. This initiative is seeking to restore the marine ecosystem, following the decision to close Maya Bay to tourism in 2018. In the Than Bok Khorani National Park, the Superintendent Mr. Weerasak Srisatjang introduced a number of innovative approaches, such as reducing waste and producing renewable energy; these are now becoming models for other national parks in Thailand.

In return, Korean delegates shared their experiences of ecosystem restoration and conservation, visitor service provision, collaboration with local communities, park facilities management and performance management. In particular, Mr. Jeong, Jangbang, Manager of Marine Conservation Division, KNPS, presented various projects related to sand dune restoration, ecosystem restoration following oil spills, biotope mapping, and technology-based management, e.g. the use of drones and virtual reality.

During the visit, both KNPS and DNP identified further opportunities for collaboration, including the potential for sister park arrangements and staff exchanges. 

KNPS and DNP have had a growing bilateral relationship since 2015, when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This has included reciprocal study visits as well as DNP’s participation in the Korea National Park Friendship Programme (KNPFP).

About the Korea National Park Service (KNPS)

The Korea National Park Service (KNPS) is a professional protected area management organisation established in 1987. It manages around 30 percent of Korea’s protected areas, including 21 national parks. Guided by its vision: ‘Leading Protected Areas Management by Connecting Nature, People, and the Future’, KNPS commits its resources to achieving conservation and sustainable use of national parks, and provides support to locally-managed protected areas.

About the Department of National Parks, Wild and Plant Conservation of Thailand (DNP)

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is the primary agency supervising protected areas in Thailand, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The principal objective of DNP is biodiversity conservation for the well-being of the country. DNP was established in 2002 as the result of reorganisation of government agencies in Thailand. However, the National Park Act was declared in 1961, followed by the establishment of Khao Yai National Park in 1962. The department is responsible for the management of 155 national parks, and 60 wildlife sanctuaries, as well as forest parks, botanical gardens, non-hunting areas, and wetlands.


Presentation on marine national park management in Korea. © KNPS


Closure of Maya Bay in Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. © KNPS


Introduction to Than Bok Khorani National Park by the superintendent. ©KNPS