The status of Mu Koh Chang being a national park in 1982 has put the entire archipelago comprising of over 52 big and small islands under the custody of the Marine National Park Division (MNPD). MNPD is the separated division under Royal Forest Department (RFD) authorized to manage, protect and manage all marine national parks which Mu Koh Chang is part. The Marine National Park Division is supervised by a director who gets information directly from the superintendents of each marine national park.
Mu Koh Chang National Park Patrol Rangers
Mu Koh Chang is directly managed by a superintendent aided by 2 assistants. It has many teams of rangers and each ranger team is composed of 1 ranger and 11 temporary workers who carry out the daily work. Park management involves the over-all upkeeping of the park. It disposes its mandate based on the seven enacted acts: National Park Act, Forest Act, National Reserved Forests Act, Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, Fishery Act, Harbor Act and Environment Act.
To rationalize the territorial size of Mu Koh Chang National Park, the local MNP administration put up 5 marine park offices in Koh Chang being the biggest island within the park. One office is at the road about a kilometer behind Baan Bang Bao towards the direction of Baan Khlong Kloi. Another one is located at the entrance of the Khlong Plu Watrefall. The third office is directly by the road between White Sand Beach and Khlong Son Bay. The fourth is located approximately 3 kilometers outside of Baan Salak Phet. It can be reached via rough jungle tract and coming from the north, you turn right following the signpost in the intersection and about 1.5 kilometers before Baan Salak Phet. The fifth one which is the head office of Mu Koh chang National Park is 11 kilometers south of Dan-Kao Pier, directly by the road opposite the entrance to the Than Mayom Waterfall.
The park’s head office is relatively beautiful and well kept. It has a museum of rich information about the flora and fauna of the archipelago and it has a very educational 3-D map of Koh Chang and the glimpse of islands comprising the park. It accommodates overnight camp outs and camping gears for a fee and caters meal to people through its restaurant. The office offers ranger services for tourists who love mountain or jungle trekking adventure. It gives permission to people or tourists to spend nights in the jungle with the accompaniment or supervision of its forests rangers. These measures are local MNP initiatives to augment its operational budget and income generating means.
The common occurrence in the park which sometimes creates tension between the park management personnel and local residents is the issue on fishing. Many locals violated the protected zone areas specified by the park. They intrude the protected zones bringing their fishing boats and gears. Mooring buoys are regularly neglected. There are also reports of asking exuberant fees from tourists by locals who employ themselves as guides using their boats or services.
It is considerably understandable that park management of Mu Koh Chang National Park sometimes suffered setbacks in implementing the acts mandated by law because it has to deal fairly with the land, seas, nature and people.