An area of sand beach, mangroves, and mudflats, with some steep wooded cliffs and intertidal mudflats extending up to 2km offshore at low tide. A complex of rivers open to the sea within the site, and extensive seagrass beds are present at Sriboya Island. Some 221 bird species are found in the mangrove areas, and the mudflats form one of the most important areas in southern Thailand for migratory birds. Water quality has suffered from nearby community enlargement and the rapid growth of tourism from nearby Krabi city, and increased aquaculture may bring cause for concern. Most mangrove areas are presently forest concession but will convert to conservation purposes by the end of 2001.
Kuan Ki Sian of the Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area
Located just north of the very large Thale Luang (Lake Songkla) in the south of the country, it is one of the few surviving intact freshwater wetland ecosystems in Thailand; specific wetland types found here are lake, marsh, Melaleuca (paperbark) swamp forest, paddy fields, and swamp grass lands. “Kuans” are islands free of water for most of the year located in the Melaleuca swamp forest: Kuan Ki Sian is a knoll at 0-2 meters above mean sea level within the Thale Noi area. The Thale Noi area is home to more than 5,000 families, almost all of which rely on some extraction or land use within the area. Activities include fishing, cattle grazing, cultivation, mat-making and tourism – the site is visited by more than 200,000 foreign and local visitors annually.
The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km (2,703 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 457 km3 (110 cu mi) of water annually.
From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China’s Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. In 1995, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekong’s resources. In 1996 China and Burma (Myanmar) became “dialogue partners” of the MRC and the six countries now work together within a cooperative framework.
The extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls in this river have made navigation difficult. The river is a major trading route linking China’s southwestern province of Yunnan to Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand to the south, an important trade route between western China and Southeast Asia.