Thailand Coral Bleaching Crisis: Closure of 12 Marine Parks

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Thailand Coral Bleaching Crisis: Closure of 12 Marine Parks

Thailand is battling an environmental crisis due to widespread coral bleaching, exacerbated by climate change and El Niño. The closure of 12 marine parks has become necessary.

Thailand Coral Bleaching Crisis: Closure of 12 Marine Parks

Thailand Faces Major Coral Bleaching Crisis

Thailand Confronted with a Major Environmental Crisis

Thailand is facing a significant environmental crisis with widespread coral bleaching. This alarming situation is directly linked to climate change and exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, causing a significant rise in water temperatures. According to Chidchanok Sukmongkol, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), approximately 50% of the coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand are affected, while around 20% of the reefs in the Andaman Sea are impacted.

Impact on Marine Ecosystems and Protection Measures

The impact on marine ecosystems is considerable, with severe consequences for biodiversity and the tourism industry. Bleached corals lose their color and vitality, endangering the survival of many marine species that depend on them. To protect these fragile ecosystems, Thai authorities have taken drastic measures by closing 12 national marine parks until further notice.

These parks, located in various regions of Thailand, include popular tourist destinations such as Mu Koh Chang, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta. The closure aims to limit the impact of human activities on already stressed coral reefs.

Government Response and Conservation Actions

In response to this crisis, the Thai government has acted swiftly by mobilizing high-level environmental officials to assess the situation and take appropriate measures. Conservation efforts are also underway to closely monitor the situation’s evolution in other coastal national parks and islands of Thailand.

List of 12 Closed National Marine Parks

These closures have been effective since early May 2024 until further notice:

  • Mu Koh Chang National Park
  • Khao Laem Ya-Mu Koh Samed National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park
  • Hat Wanakorn National Park
  • Koh Chumphon National Park
  • Hat Khanom-Mu Koh Thalay Tai National Park
  • Koh Surin National Park
  • Sirinat National Park
  • Ao Phang Nga National Park
  • Than Bok Koranee National Park
  • Hat Nopparat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park
  • Koh Lanta National Park

Awareness and Community Engagement

Simultaneously, awareness initiatives are being undertaken to inform local residents, tourists, and tourism industry stakeholders about the importance of coral reef conservation. Community engagement is essential to promote environmentally friendly practices and support the restoration of damaged marine ecosystems.

Indeed, the coral bleaching crisis in Thailand highlights the urgency of taking action against climate change and strengthening marine conservation measures to protect these natural treasures for future generations.

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Thailand Coral Bleaching Crisis