Press Release : 43rd Session of the World Heritage Committee Refers the Nomination Dossier of Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) Back to Thailand  news3

Press Release : 43rd Session of the World Heritage Committee Refers the Nomination Dossier of Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) Back to Thailand

The Delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand, led by H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, former Ambassador of Thailand to the French Republic and Permanent Delegate of Thailand to UNESCO, together with H.E. Mr. Sarun Charoensuwan, Ambassador of Thailand to the French Republic and Permanent Delegate of Thailand to UNESCO, and Ms. Raweewan Bhuridej, Secretary-General, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, participated in the 43rd Session of the World Heritage Committee during 30 June – 10 July 2019, in Baku, Azerbaijan. 
 
On 7 July 2019, the Committee considered Thailand’s nomination of Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) to be inscribed in the World Heritage List. The Committee recognised the progress made by Thailand to address the concerns expressed by the Committee during the 40th Session of the Committee in 2016, the most significant was the understanding Thailand has reached with Myanmar on the delineation of the nominated area of KKFC, to ease the concerns of Myanmar. Furthermore, the decision takes note of Thailand’s positive development in the adoption of new legislation, in particular, the Natural Parks Act B.E. 2562 and Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act B.E. 2562, to ensure the rights and livelihood of local communities including those within KKFC area. However, these new developments require considerable time to assess new sets of information, including a technical analysis on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, as well as additional information demonstrating meaningful participation of local communities in the nomination process of the KKFC. As a result, the Committee decided to refer the nomination back to Thailand in order to submit additional information. The dossier will be discussed in a later session of the Committee. 
 
Thailand’s previous efforts do not only focus on pushing forward the inscription of Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) in the World Heritage List, but also aim at encouraging inclusive participation from all stakeholders, especially from local communities, to be a part of the decision-making process in the long-term and sustainable conservation and protection of KKFC. 
 
KKFC’s area contains rich biological diversity of fauna and flora of outstanding universal value. The nomination dossier of the site was firstly considered by 40th Session of the World Heritage Committee in 2015. The nomination of KFFC was then referred back to Thailand in order to allow it to further promote the rights and livelihood of local Karen communities and conduct a dialogue with Myanmar to address concerns on the border of the nominated property.
 
On 5 July 2019, during the 43rd Session of the World Heritage Committee, the Thai Delegation also held the Thai Night reception. Highlights of the event included the special presentation on the use of IT in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites, by Khun Sirikitiya Jensen, and the presentation on Thailand’s Candidature to the World Heritage Committee 2019 – 2023 by H.E. Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow.
 
The 43rd Session of the Committee also endorsed Thailand’s inscription of the “Ancient Town of Si Thep” and “Ensemble of Phanom Rung, Muang Tam and Plai Bat Sanctuaries” in the Tentative List of the World Heritage Centre, which would be considered by the Committee to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site in the future. The state of conservation of the Historic City of Ayutthaya was also being considered by the Committee.
 
The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, commonly referred to as the “World Heritage Convention,” was established in the spirit of promoting conservation and protection of outstanding natural and cultural values for future generations. At present, there are 193 State Parties to the Convention. Thailand has become a state party to the Convention since 1997 and has 5 properties inscribed in the World Heritage List, namely (1) Baan Chiang Archaeological Site, (2) Historic City of Ayutthaya, (3) Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns, (4) Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, and (5) Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries.