The proposal was discussed at a meeting of the Protected Area Committee held at the Sirinath National Park head office yesterday (Dec 14), led by Phuket Vice Governor Piyaphong Chuwong.
In addition to Sirinath National Park in Phuket, the parks also to be nominated for World Heritage status are the Moo Koh Ranong National Park and Laem Son National Park, both in Ranong; as well as the Moo Koh Surin National Park, Moo Koh Similan National Park the and Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park, all in Phang Nga.
The process of submitting the formal proposal may take about two years, V/Gov Piyaphong said.
“Officials must first inform local people about the importance and the advantages of being recognised as world heritage sites, so that they can understand and support the proposal,” he said.
Also discussed at the meeting was whether or not to change the hours that Sirinath National Park is open to visitors. Visitors’ safety was put forward as the reason for considering changing the park’s open hours. It was decided to hold a public meeting at a later date in order to receive local feedback on the idea.
Also pointed out at the meeting was that turtles have started to return to local beaches to lay eggs, with 17 turtle nests being found on beaches in Phuket and Phang since the start of last year.
The government is continuing its monetary rewards for people reporting turtles coming ashore to lay eggs, the meeting also noted.
On Nov 2, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Natural Resource Minister Varawut Silpa-archa presented rewards to nine local people who immediately reported to officials turtles they found had come ashore to lay eggs.