History

Thailand’s relationship with IUCN began in 1948 when it was one of the first Asian countries that was a signatory to IUCN’s Charter. In the 1950s and early 1960s IUCN assisted the Royal Thai government in the establishment of a national park and wildlife conservation network in Thailand. In 1962, Thailand joined IUCN as a state member. In the 1980s, IUCN gave support to Royal Thai Government on the development of a watershed classification system. In the late 1990s, IUCN provided information and discussion on the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and a review of the Thai Forest Master Plan. IUCN has located its regional office in Thailand since the early 1990s with the Thailand Programme beginning in 2001.

The Thailand Programme is executed through partnerships with government agencies, non-governmental organisations and community based organisations. Information about our partners can be found on each project site.

Core activities of IUCN Thailand

  • Livelihoods and Landscapes
  • Coastal Conservation and rehabilitation
  • Communal waste management
  • Protected Area Management
  • Capacity Building
  • Assisting with laws updating and regulating
  • Convention related work
  • Acting as a coordinating body

On the ground

Specific information about our current and previous projects can be found through following the links on the left.

Members of IUCN Thailand

Members of IUCN have access to a wealth of knowledge through IUCN’s scientists, and a platform to contribute to national, regional and global conservation policies.

A list of our members’ and links to their websites can be found on the right.

Information on how to join IUCN as its member can be found by following this link.

Basic facts about Thailand

Location

Thailand borders Myanmar (Western border), PDR Laos (Northern border), Cambodia (Eastern border) and Malaysia (Southern border). Part of the Eastern border is defined by the Mekong River.

Climate
Being stretched between roughly the 6th and 20th degree of latitude, Thailand is characterized by a tropical climate under the influence of two monsoons. For the Northern, Eastern and central parts of the country, the Southwest monsoon is associated with high temperatures and high precipitation from May to September. In contrast, the Northeast monsoon brings dry and cool weather from November to February. The Southern peninsula is hot and humid all year round.

Geography
The country is often classified into four main geographical regions:

  • The central region (including Bangkok), stretched over the Chao Phraya River basin, which runs into the Gulf of Thailand. As it is the country’s most fertile area, it is often referred to as the “rice bowl”.
  • The North-East (Isarn) consists of the Khorat Plateau and has the lowest per-capita income and poorer soils than most other parts of the country.
  • Northern Thailand is mountainous and used to have a particularly high amount of forest cover. However, heavy deforestation over the last decades reduced the area under forest considerably and had severe environmental impacts. IUCN implements two projects in Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai Province.
  • The peninsular region of Southern Thailand has also been deforested heavily and – in addition to the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004 - has recently suffered from flooding. This region has the highest precipitation rates in Thailand. IUCN has several projects in the South which focus on coastal ecosystem conservation and rehabilitation. Most of Thailand’s more than 3.000km of coastline are located in the Southern region.

Thailand is endowed with rich biodiversity and natural resources, which are important sources to support rural livelihoods and national development. For example, more than 900 bird species, 300 species of reptiles, 107 species of amphibians, 1,900 species of fish, approximately 10,000 vascular plants, and thousands of insects and invertebrate species are found in Thailand. This includes well known and rare species such as the Mekong Giant Catfish and Irrawady Dolphin.

Conserving Thailand’s rich biodiversity while developing and supporting sustainable local livelihoods and governance structures are aims of IUCN Thailand.

The IUCN Asia Regional Office in Bangkok

IUCN’s Asia Regional Office in Bangkok is central to IUCN’s operations in the region. Formally established in 2002, the Asia Regional Office is responsible for all IUCN activities in the Asia region, from Afghanistan to Japan, and Mongolia to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Also hosted here is IUCN’s Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group, which provides expertise and services on thematic topics such as Business and Biodiversity, Protected Areas, Environmental Law, Forest Conservation and Water and Wetlands. The Asia Regional Office also hosts the Mangroves for the Future Secretariat.