Unesco declares Chiang Mai’s Doi Chiang Dao as new biosphere reserve
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on Wednesday approved Chiang Mai’s Doi Chiang Dao as a new biosphere reserve – the fifth site in Thailand to receive the prestigious listing.
The other biosphere reserves are Sakae Rat in Nakhon Ratchasima, Suan Sak-Huai Nak in Lampang, Huai Khok Ma in Chiang Mai and the Ranong Mangrove Forest.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said Unesco’s International Coordinating Council on the Man and the Biosphere Programme held an online meeting on Wednesday to review 22 international areas, including Doi Chiang Dao, for listing as biosphere reserves.
Doi Chiang Dao is located in Ban Pang Ma-O in Chiang Dao district, which is part of the upper Ping River basin, where the ecosystem has been protected by the Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary for four decades. The surrounding area is home to protected animals such as gorals and serows.
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The 2,175-metre-high mountain is part of a limestone massif located 6km west-northwest of Chiang Dao town.
Besides the abundance of rare flora and fauna, it is also diverse in ethnic groups such as the Tai Yai, Hmong, Lahu, Lishu and Paganyaw, as well as the Lanna culture.
Doi Chiang Dao is the third most visited ecotourism site in Thailand and one of the most popular birdwatching sites in the country, with more than 300 species of birds, including the rare giant nuthatch and Hume’s pheasant.