Wetlands systems in southern Thailand: The essential resources for sustainable regional developmentThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Parts of Southern Thailand are inundated by water for months annually resulting in various wetlands including, among others, Tapi River Basin, Pak Panang River Basin, Songkhla Lake Basin, Pangnga Bay, Pattani River Basin, and Narathiwas Peat Swamp. Most wetlands perform functions such as flood retention, water filtration, bird and wildlife habitat,and tree growth. These wetlands are invaluable also for the value derived from: (a) commodity products such as timber, food, and chemicals; (b) nonconsumptive uses such as recreation and tourism; and (c) environmental attributes such as biodiversity, wildlife, and water quality. These values are derived from their hydrogeologic and biochemical functions, not dependent on the size of the wetland but on the intrinsic properties of the ecosystem, particularly their location within a watershed and positioning with respect to rivers, uplands, and seas. As many wetlands have been transformed and deteriorated, research into these wetland systems and their relationships with human activities are required. Integrated and participatory approaches to management of these wetlands are also recommended.