Target: Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra
Goal: Protect the Mae Wong National Park in Thailand.
For nearly twenty-five years, the Mae Wong National Park in Thailand has served as a protective haven for regional wildlife. This park protects animals iconic to the region such as Asian elephant, gaur, and green peafowl. Most importantly, it also serves to protect the highly endangered Indochinese tiger (also known as the Corbett’s tiger).
With an estimated 350 of these animals remaining alive in the wild, they must be given all possible protection from poaching and habitat loss to ensure the species does not become extinct in the wild.
Unfortunately, a dam project in the region threatens to undermine the park by inundating most of the Mae Wong’s lowland forest, submerging the bulk of the most wildlife-rich region of the park. This threatens not only Mae Wong National Park itself, but also the adjacent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Huai Kha Kheng Wildlife Sanctuary, which currently is able to utilize the park as a buffer zone of protection.
The intent of both flood protection and farmland irrigation would be quite inefficiently addressed by this environmentally destructive method. Costing nearly thirteen billion baht to complete the project, it will actually do quite little to alleviate flood concerns within the country. The irrigation provided will be helpful to some farmland, but ultimately impact far too few farms to justify the cost both financially and ecologically.
When smaller, more cost effective local projects would be just as effective at improving irrigation, it makes little sense to commit to a project that would involve the destruction of over 500,000 trees, as well as the destroy a huge portion of wildlife habitat.
It is with this in mind that I ask you to lend your voice in urging the Thai government to reconsider the building of the Mae Wong dam in order to protect the wildlife within the Mae Wong National Park.
Dear Prime Minister Shinawatra,
The Mae Wong National Park has served as a protective home to wildlife since its inception nearly twenty-five years ago. Beyond providing a valuable ecosystem, as well as protection for many species of animal from elephants to guar, it also serves as a buffer of protection for the adjacent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Huai Kha Kheng Wildlife Sanctuary.
This is an extremely important role, as the two regions serve to provide protected habitat for the critically endangered Indochinese (also known as Corbett’s) tiger. This species of tiger only has an estimated 350 living representatives in the wild. Any depletion from poaching or habitat loss could force the species to go extinct in the wild.
Unfortunately, Mae Wong National Park is being threatened by a dam project that will flood most of the park’s lowland forest area which currently contains the greatest concentration of wildlife in the park.
The flooding created by the dam is far too ecologically costly for a project that also makes little economic sense.
Estimates put the cost of the project at roughly thirteen billion baht, yet it will likely prove to have very little impact in its intended purpose of flood prevention throughout Thailand. The second goal of the dam, to provide irrigation water to rural farmland, could be solved by much more efficient means such as smaller, cost-effective local projects.
There is no reason to destroy an estimated 500,000 trees and submerge a significant portion of an important national park in pursuit of this project. I urge you, protect Mae Wong National Park and the Indochinese tiger by stopping the Mae Wong dam project before it causes irreparable damage.
[Your Name Here]