Ecosystem Management in the Forest Monasteries of Northeastern Thailand

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Inthanom Mahaveero Pisit Boonchai Prayoon Wongchantra

Abstract

The aims of this investigation were 1) to study the history and background of ecosystem management in the forest monasteries of Northeastern Thailand; 2) to study the current conditions and problems concerning ecosystem management in the forest monasteries of Northeastern Thailand; and 3) to synthesise the body of knowledge concerning ecosystem management in the forest monasteries of Northeastern Thailand. The investigation combined document analysis and field research in three locations. The results show that Wat Puttanimit (Pukao) in Kalasin Provinceis situated on a mountain and covers a large area with a diverse ecosystem. Many animals are raised in the local temple and surrounding forest. The main problem with ecosystem management is a lack of manpower. Wat Tham Pa Mak Haw in Loei Province was constructed during the Ayutthaya period of Thai history and is located at the foot of a mountain. The local ecosystem has deteriorated due and there is not enough food for local wildlife. Animals are forced to eat food brought by temple visitors, causing them to lose their instinct to find food themselves. There is also a lack of human resources. The area surrounding Wat Phraputtabat Panom Din in Surin Province is limited. Each of the three temples are in a similar situation regarding the management of their ecosystems. There must be greater networking and planning in place to help the temple administrators with the management of the local environment. There should be specific management of planning, community participation, environmental laws and religious activities. There should be physical and biological consideration of the impact of the temples on the environment and tighter management of human interaction with wildlife. These measures will help the forest monasteries of Northeastern Thailand conserve the local environment and improve the situation of the ecosystem in their locality.

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Research Articles