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Forest Conservation

Khun Chae National Park (270 square kilometers) is one of several new parks established as part of a broad conservation program which set a policy target of 40 percent forest cover for the nation.

This was to reverse destruction that saw forest cover fall from 53 percent of the total land area in 1960 to 28 percent in 1989.

The 1985 plan called for 25 percent of the total land area that remained under forest to be conserved in protected areas such as national parks, while the rest was to be built up through commercial replanting. Unofficial estimates, meanwhile, had put forest cover at less than 20 percent, and logging was to continue despite a national ban after January 1989 (For details see: Leungarasmi, P. & Rajesh, Noel. The Future of People and Forests in Thailand after the Logging Ban. Project for Ecological Recovery, Thailand, 1992).

Recent efforts have focused on encouraging the private sector to sponsor replanting with non-commercial native tree species. Lack of scientific understanding of the habitat requirements of these species has been a problem, however (For more information, visit the "The Forest Restoration Research Unit" at Doi Suthep - Doi Pui National Park HQ).

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