Developing a Climate Neutral Sustainable Tourism at Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai National Park, Thailand is a part of the Dong Phyayen – Khao Yai Forest Complex, which is regarded as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. With its privilege like many other World Heritage sites, the national park has been flocked with over a million of tourists every year. Khao Yai National Park has been greatly impacted by over tourism, especially by the emission of greenhouse gas from the increasing number of tourists and vehicles. Climate change along with the expanding urbanization of the adjacent community from increased tourism has led to a gradual reduction in forest density. As a result, the park’s biodiversity and wildlife has become vulnerable to climate change which threatens its World Heritage Site status.
The Advanced Nanomaterials for Enhancing Sustainable Energy and Environment in Dong Phayayen – Khao Yai World Heritage Project, or ANSEE–Khao Yai project, was therefore initiated to assess, analyse and improve the climate change situation at Khao Yai National Park. The project consists of 11 teams formed by 47 researchers at Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, from disciplines ranging from science and engineering, digital and social technology, public health and medicine. The project brings forth the knowledge and innovations from the academia to address the pressing climate issues, using the national park as learning laboratories for research and implementation of strategies and digital solutions that can push towards climate neutrality as well as alleviate human wildlife conflicts.
Since its establishment in November 2020, ANSEE–Khao Yai project has implemented an array of outcomes for the park and the adjacent community, ranging from renewable solar energy battery storage installations, electric vehicles and their transportation plan, waste management with electronic bins and solar energy solutions, carbon footprint evaluation, digital media communication promoting conservation awareness, community skill enhancement with astrology for sustainable tourism, a wild elephant management platform, and resource monitoring sensing technology.
With the experience gained from ANSEE – Khao Yai project, it is hoped that SUT can expand collaborations with WTUN partners around the world, and create new opportunities to progress towards global climate neutrality.