Press "Enter" to skip to content

Koh Taen Community’s Plea to Halt National Park Status: A Fight for Tradition and Biodiversity

Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

Imagine a tranquil oasis nestled in the arms of the Gulf of Thailand; Surat Thani’s Koh Taen, a gem in the seascape of Koh Samui district, is at the heart of a bubbling controversy that has the local community and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) at odds. As the sun rose yesterday, the air was thick with anticipation as locals, led by the spirited Thanakom Ruenpanich of the Rak Koh Taen Club, rallied together. With determination in their steps, they carried a petition, a beacon of their collective hope, to Kampanat Klinsaowakon, the district chief.

Their message was clear and resonant: a fervent plea to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to halt the inclusion of their beloved island and its surrounding serenity in the newly proposed Hat Khanom-Mu Koh Thale Tai National Park. Koh Taen is no ordinary island. Its roots are deep, with a vibrant community history stretching back two centuries. The island is a hushed haven for at least 300 souls, whose lives are intricately woven with the coconut groves and the bountiful sea at their doorstep. Life here is rhythmic, pulsating with the simple yet profound joys of nature’s bounty.

But Koh Taen is more than just a living; it’s a repository of natural wonders, boasting a school, a hospital, and a monastery that stand as testaments to its rich social fabric. Venture deeper, and you’ll find a kaleidoscope of biodiversity: a coral reef that dances with color and a mangrove forest that whispers the secrets of survival. Amidst plans to electrify this island sanctuary with submarine cables – a nod to progress approved by the government – the DNP’s intentions to cloak Koh Taen and its neighboring pearls within the national park’s embrace have stirred the waters of contentment.

The locals’ concerns are not just for the environmental preservation touted by the DNP but for the very essence of their way of life. Their fears are painted in vivid hues over the canvas of their everyday – from the coconut farmer who rises with the dawn to the fisherman whose nets capture the bounty of the sea. Claims have been made that cherished spots like Koh Taen, Koh Rab, and Koh Mudsum, cradled by locals’ land deeds, should remain untouched, their natural beauty unfettered by the constraints of national park status.

Adding to the tapestry of this unfolding narrative are plans for a submarine cable project, promising the gift of electricity from the mainland. Yet, this beacon of progress flickers in the shadow of the proposed inclusion, leaving the community to ponder the cost of conservation. As the debate rages on, the DNP has taken to Facebook to reveal that swathes of land, some 73,197 rai, have been carved from the heart of what could have been the 197,614 rai of the Hat Khanom-Mu Koh Thale Tai National Park since its inception in 1990.

In this delicate dance between preservation and progress, the voices of Koh Taen resonate with a deep-seated love for their land, a plea for understanding and a path that honors both their heritage and their hopes for the future. As the world watches, the saga of Koh Taen and its people unfolds, a testament to the enduring spirit of community in the face of change.


  1. EcoWarrior March 6, 2024

    This is exactly why we need more national parks! To protect these beautiful places from exploitation. I’m all for the DNP’s plan.

    • IslandLocal March 6, 2024

      It’s easy to say when you don’t live here. Our way of life is at stake. We can care for our home without turning it into a national park.

      • NatureFirst March 6, 2024

        But history shows that local communities often can’t protect their environments from larger threats. National parks offer protection at a bigger scale.

    • TechieTom March 6, 2024

      The submarine cable and electricity are crucial for development. Why resist progress? The national park could even bring in more tourists = more revenue.

      • IslandLocal March 7, 2024

        It’s not about resisting progress. It’s about preserving our way of life and making sure development is sustainable and inclusive.

  2. HistoryBuff March 6, 2024

    Two centuries of community history shouldn’t be ignored. This island has a deep cultural value that needs to be preserved WITH the community’s input.

    • CuriousGeorge March 6, 2024

      Exactly, but can’t both be achieved? Preservation of nature and culture together sounds like an ideal situation.

      • HistoryBuff March 6, 2024

        In an ideal world, yes. But these processes often sideline local voices. It’s crucial that any conservation effort is community-led.

  3. DevilsAdvocate March 6, 2024

    Anyone considered that the national park status might protect Koh Taen from worse fates? Overdevelopment, pollution, unchecked tourism?

    • Sandra Dee March 6, 2024

      That’s a valid point. Look at other areas that have been ruined by over-tourism. Maybe this could be a balance?

      • GreenThumb March 6, 2024

        Balance is key. But the community must have a say in what that looks like. Their home, their rules.

    • OldTimer March 6, 2024

      The government doesn’t always know best. We’ve seen too many instances of mismanagement. Why risk it?

      • DevilsAdvocate March 6, 2024

        Because sometimes, a little oversight isn’t a bad thing. Conservation efforts can be a boon if done right.

  4. beachbum77 March 6, 2024

    Let’s not forget about the biodiversity here. Coral reefs, mangroves – they need protection from human activity, not just from exploitation.

    • FisherFolk March 6, 2024

      We’ve lived harmoniously with our surroundings for generations. It’s possible to continue without heavy-handed restrictions.

  5. KohSamuiFan March 6, 2024

    Visited Koh Taen last year. It’s paradise. Anything to keep it that way, I support. National park or not, just protect it.

    • IslandLocal March 7, 2024

      Appreciate the support, but remember this is our home, not just a vacation spot. Our voices should be the loudest in this conversation.

  6. MarineBioMajor March 6, 2024

    Curious how the submarine cable project fits into this. Wouldn’t that disrupt underwater ecosystems?

    • EcoWarrior March 7, 2024

      Good point. Seems like a contradiction to push for a national park while introducing potential disruptions. It’s a delicate balance.

  7. JustObserving March 7, 2024

    Seems like a complex issue with no easy answers. I hope the community’s needs are prioritized in whatever decision is made.

  8. Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »