National Mangrove Forest Day in Thailand Date in the current year: May 10, 2024

National Mangrove Forest Day in Thailand National Mangrove Forest Day (Wan Pa Chai Len Haeng Chat), also known as Thailand National Mangrove Day, is observed in Thailand on May 10 every year. It was created to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove forest conservation and highlight the conservation efforts that are underway.

Mangrove forests, also known as mangrove thickets or mangrove swamps, are productive wetlands occurring in coastal intertidal zones. Since they can’t withstand freezing temperatures, mangrove forests can be found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. The mangrove forests of Thailand are part of the Indochina mangrove ecoregion in Southeast Asia.

Thailand’s mangrove forests have been seriously degraded due to the expansion of commercial fishing and shrimp aquaculture, clearance for logging and agricultural development, and unregulated tourism. Mangrove forest degradation leads to other environmental problems such as sedimentation of rivers, soil erosion, loss of habitat for multiple species, and climate change exacerbation due to decline in carbon sequestration.

Thai environmental activists and conservationists have long been advocating to protect mangrove forests by creating marine protected areas. However, this suggestion has raised concerns from coastal communities that rely on mangrove forests for economic growth, mainly through agriculture and tourism.

As a compromise, the Thai government has enacted community-based mangrove restoration laws that give local governments the flexibility to approach mangrove conservation and rehabilitation efforts as they see fit. Payment for ecosystem services (a conservation method based on incentivizing sustainable environmental practices such as ecotourism) has been discussed as another viable solution, but its implementation is hindered by a lack of funding.

It should be noted that mangrove conservation efforts in Thailand do include the creation of protected areas. In 2018, the first mangrove botanical garden in the country was established in Chanthaburi province in honor of the late King Rama IX. The garden hosts a collection of mangrove forests plants from different parts of the world and serves as a learning and research center for mangrove forest conservation and rehabilitation.

National Mangrove Forest Day was inaugurated by the cabinet of Thailand in March 2020. Its date, May 10, was chosen to commemorate the day when King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) delivered a speech on mangrove forests in 1991. In his speech, the king addressed the relevant departments, urging them to join efforts in protecting and conserving the country’s mangrove forests and their unique ecosystems.

National Mangrove Forest Day is observed with events and activities organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and other stakeholders. Their main goal is to raise public awareness about the importance of mangrove ecosystems, highlight mangrove forest protection and conservation efforts, and build a network of organizations and people to improve the efficiency of these efforts.

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National Mangrove Forest Day in Thailand, observances in Thailand, environmental observances, mangrove forest conservation