Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Thailand has undertaken effective activities and projects on biodiversity. These activities were given more emphasis right after the ratification of the Convention and when it entered into force in 2004. However, the project related to the 2010 target has not yet been launched officially. However many on–going projects undertaken by concerned agencies, private sectors and NGO’s can be counted as the projects aiming towards the 2010 target. The obstacles to the achievement include inadequacy of financial support, lack of awareness among concerned agencies, lack of capacity building for resources persons and technicians, and lack of stakeholder interest. Some thematic targets have been established, such as 35% of the total wetland area conserved and 40% of the total land area covered by forests. In the absence of a national target, Thailand has been making great efforts in restoring and maintaining the population of some endangered species. The declaration of a logging ban and no-fishing season helps reduce pressures on forest and fishery resources. Quarantine measures are in place to prevent the introduction of invasive species. A few laws have been developed to protect traditional knowledge.
Biodiversity Projects Towards Achievement of ONEP’s Goals for 2010 Survey of Biological Status Project: ONEP as the national focal point of the Convention on Biological Diversity, has prepared a database of endangered vertebrates (http://chmthai.onep.go.th/). A database of plants will be completed by the end of 2006, to be followed by a database of invertebrates which will be proposed to the Cabinet as the National Red List. Its scope will include protection and observation measures as well as rehabilitation and survey of the population of invertebrates. Biodiversity Survey and Information System Project: This project will be implemented in the following ecosystems: forest, coastal and marine, inland water, dry and semi–humid, mountain, island and agriculture. In 2005 ONEP and Kasetsart University selected the following as study areas: Doi Inthanon forest, coastal areas of Phang–nga province (Surin and Ang Thong Islands), Ping river watershed, and the highland agricultural areas of Pataem and Phu Paterb, Phu Luang, and Doi Inthanon–Jormthong. Information obtained from the project will support the protection and rehabilitation of deteriorated ecosystems and endangered species. Such information will be disseminated to the public in order to build awareness of the importance of biodiversity to human life. The results of the study will be presented to the press in the form of different media products. The project will be implemented in other areas. Colorful Tree Plantation Project: To initiate the project, ONEP grew Indian Cork, Radermachera ignea (Bignoniaceae), the symbolic tree of Chiang Rai Province, along both sides of the road to Nong Bong Khai non–hunting area, which is a wetland of international importance (Ramsar Site). The project emphasizes cooperation between the Government and private organizations and local communities to save and protect the country’s natural beauty by growing local plants from specific provinces, along highways and in front of temples and schools all over the country. The project hopes to enhance the green surroundings in different communities and to attract tourists who want to enjoy flowers in bloom as well as to rehabilitate destroyed ecosystems. Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) Project: ONEP facilitates the collection of information on biodiversity and dissemination to the public through this mechanism. ONEP also provides assistance to relevant agencies, including DONP, DOA, DLD, and DOF. The Department of Clearing House (DCH) is prepared to link information from individual agencies for their mutual benefit. The project will soon be extended to universities nationwide and research data on biodiversity will be collected and disseminated through the University Clearing House (UCH). This will facilitate research and development on biodiversity in the future. Biological Boy Scout–Girl Guide Project: The project will involve cooperation between MONRE and the Ministry of Education. It is aimed at imparting knowledge and building awareness of the importance of biodiversity to human life by applying the principle of learning by doing and using nature as a school. The youth will learn many things about nature, including how to conserve birds and corals, how to live in the woods, how to build a fire out of sticks, and so on. They will act as para–taxonomists who will make use of their capability to recognize plants and animals, including butterflies and ferns.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Thailand has set up 25% of total land area as a target for protected areas. By now the protected areas have covered almost 20% of the total land area of the country. A national review is to be undertaken for establishing a national system of protected areas. In recent years more mangrove protected areas and national parks for forest management have been established. Efforts are being made to remove legal and institutional gaps to strengthen protected areas management. The environmental impact assessments are required for some projects that affect protected areas. The financing of protected areas has been secured through regular government budget.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
A Biodiversity Bureau serves as a national focal point for access and transfer of biological resources. A number of subcommittees, ministerial biodiversity committees and sectoral committees are to be established for facilitating access and benefit sharing in relevant sectors. Draft National Regulation on Criteria and Method for Access and Benefit Sharing of Biological Resources has been finalized and is waiting for approval. In addition, some sectoral departments have put in place mechanisms for access and benefit sharing, through implementing provisions in relevant sectoral laws and policies, such as Plant Varieties Act, Fisheries Act and the Protection and Promotion of Thai Traditional Medical Intelligence Act.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Many departments, institutions and organizations in Thailand have emphasized community empowerment. Community Organization Development Institution (CODI) is the leading agency to promote and mobilize capacity building or empowering of indigenous and local communities. CODI has developed a tool for strengthening local capacities, called “community mapping”. By this local communities will be able to identify the status and trends of traditional knowledge, as well as the vision and priorities to protect these traditional practices. Thailand Research Fund (TRF) provides funds for research activities and facilitates exchange of experience for biodiversity conservation at local levels. Population and Community Development Association (PDA) has been promoting community participation in afforestation by establishing local community networks, facilitating experience exchange, promoting organic farming and soil conservation and providing training to local communities.