Engaging local communities in the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex


Project title: Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex: Engaging local communities in participatory management processes and benefit sharing.

Location: Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, Thailand.

Duration: Started in 2016, the project is currently ongoing.

Project Background: Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) is situated in three provinces in western Thailand (Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan). It consists of Kaeng Krachan National Park, Kui Buri National Park, Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Park and Mae Nam Phachi Wildlife Sanctuary.

KKFC lies in the Tenasserim Range on the boundary between Thailand and Myanmar and covers a vast area of semi-evergreen forest and moist evergreen forest totalling 482,225 hectares. The complex protects the headwaters of many important rivers such as Phetchaburi, Kui Buri, Pranburi, and Phachi Rivers. KKFC is located in the Indo-Malayan ecoregion and is rich in biodiversity as a result of being a conversion point of four zoogeographical sub-regions and four floristic provinces.

KKFC is home to many threatened species including the Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis), both listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. It also provides a refuge for the endangered Asian elephant, tiger, the Lar gibbon and many other globally important species.

Thailand has nominated KKFC to become its third Natural World Heritage site. Natural World Heritage sites are globally recognised as the world’s most outstanding protected areas. The UNESCO World Heritage Convention provides a unique framework for securing the conservation of over 200 of the world’s most important natural areas, recognised as being of Outstanding Universal Value. It has been recognised that engaging local communities, in all stages of the World Heritage process, is critical for the long-term success and conservation of Natural World Heritage sites. This project aims to support Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) in its efforts to engage local communities, in particular, Karen ethnic communities, in the management and planning processes of the proposed World Heritage site.

Objectives of the project: The objective of this project is to contribute to the conservation of the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, nominated as a World Heritage site in Thailand, by engaging local communities in participatory management processes and benefit sharing. The project aims to ensure joint management and community-based conservation of the outstanding natural values and biodiversity of Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex by supporting participatory land use planning and shared governance mechanisms.

Expected Outputs: The project will work closely with park authorities, local communities and governments to:

  • Initiate a management planning process for the proposed World Heritage site, with a focus on land use agreements and shared governance and benefit sharing. 
  • Support participatory land use planning and sustainable livelihoods in the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex and its buffer zone to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the area.

Donors: Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, U.S. Department of State (Lower Mekong Initiative)

Partners: Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), Royal Forest Department, Karen Network for Culture and Environment, District and Sub-District Administrations

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