Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is working with international experts from IUCN to evaluate management effectiveness of 23 Marine National Parks, 17 of which lies within the Andaman Coast. A comprehensive, systematic and participatory tool has been developed under IUCN’s Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) framework. Petch Manopawitr, a PhD candidate at MPARG and researcher with the Project IMPAACT, has been involved with the project and helped lead a group discussion in all three capacity building workshops where park personnel and local stakeholders were invited to jointly discuss principle value and current threats, and evaluate management effectiveness of the local marine park. The first workshop was held on 1-2 April at Mu Koh Chumporn National Park involving 7 Marine National Parks mainly located in the Gulf of Thailand and the other two workshops were held during 24-29 April at Sirinat National Park in Phuket where all Marine Parks in the Andaman region were assessed. Each individual MPA assessment is now under review and the final results are expected later this year. The overall MPA system analysis for Thailand is led by Prof. Marc Hockings of University of Queensland and is due to complete at the end of the year. The substantial recommendations to address management issues of Thailand’s MPAs are expected to be made at the final stage of the project and best practice management improvement activities will be demonstrated at 3 showcase sites. This project is supported by Mangroves for the Future – a regional initiative that aims to improve conservation management of coastal ecosystems for sustainable development.
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