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Seub Nakhasathien – The Great Protector of Thailand’s Natural Resources

อีเมล พิมพ์ PDF


1949 Seub Nakhasathien was born on December 31, 1949, in Pracheenburi province, as one of three children, to Mr Salab Nakhasathien, former governor of Pracheenburi, and Mrs Boonyiem Nakhasathien.  

1959 After finished Prathom 4 (grade 4 of primary school), he moved to attend St. Louise School in Chacheungsao province.  As Seub was always very attentive and dedicative.  He was the best trumpet player of the school and was very good in drawing.

1967-1971 Because of his passion in arts, Seub wanted to study architecture, but his dream was not materialized.  His university entrance examination result led him to the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University.  He was the class of 35.

1973-1974 After graduation, he briefly worked at the Housing Authority of Thailand.  Then, he continued his graduate study in Silvic Studies, Faculty of Forestry.

1975 Joined the Department of Forestry, and choose to work at the Wildlife Conservation Division.  His first duty station was at Khao Khiew – Khao Chompou Wildlife Sanctuary, Chonburi province.

1979 Awarded the British Council Scholarship for a Master’s degree at London University to study Resource and Environmental Conservation.

1981 Promoted to Superintendent of Bang Pra Non-hunting Area, and started his first piece of research on Nesting and Eggs Laying Behaviors of Birds at Bangpra Reservoir, Chonburi province.

1985 Joined Dr Sandro Lovari of the University of Parma, Italy, to do research on Goral in Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary, Chiang Mai province.  During the research, the group encountered heavy forest fire, and one of his team members, a forest ranger, died because of the fire.  Seub was upset and moved by this incident.

Seub was assigned to lead the wildlife evacuation team for the construction of Chiewlarn Dam Project in Suratthani province.  The team could save thousands of lives, but Seub was well aware that many more could not get away and died.  During this assignment, he discovered nests of Storm’s Stork (Ciconia stormi) for the first time in Thailand.

1987 Seub changed his role from an academic scholar to a conservationist by joining the team to oppose the construction of Namjone Dam in Karnchanaburi province.  He pointed out lessons learned from the construction of Chiewlarn Dam that large amount of wildlife were lost.  Seub always started his expressions of opinion by saying “I would like to speak on behalf of wildlife”.

1988 Seub and his conservationist friends publicly objected the request from the Thai Plywood Co., Ltd, for a logging concession in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.  In his argument, he said “the one who wanted logging business was the Department of Forestry, and the one who wanted to conserve the forest was also the Department of Forestry”.

1989 A PhD scholarship to study in the U.K. was granted to Seub, but instead he decided to accept a position of the Superintendent of Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.  He found many serious problems, such as illegal logging, illegal hunting by influential individuals, forest rangers were shot to death, or extreme poverty of villagers who lived around the area.  The most important and the worst problem was the fact that these problems had never received any attention from senior officials.  As a result, Seub devoted himself to work on a proposal to the UNESCO to nominate forests of Tung-yai Naresuan and Huai Kha Kheang to become a world heritage, in order to ensure that these areas would be fully protected.

September 1, 1990, Seub cleared up his work and finished his will before committed suicide.  It was a cry for help from society and public authorities to seriously solve natural resources problems.

September 18, 1990, Seub’s conservationist friends joined hand in establishing Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, to carry on his intention.

April 26, 1993, HRH Princess Sirindhorn presided at the opening of Seub Nakhasathien Memorial at the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.

1999 A poll was taken on the most remorseful ordinary ones in 50 years; Seub ranked the 2nd.  


“I sympathize those who have no chances in the society; they are pressured and taken advantages in every way.  Thailand will be much better if those lucky ones would sacrifice some opportunities, so that the unfortunate souls could be saved.  I would like to see better society”.  Seub Nakhasathien.