Recognizing that Thailand has a very high level of agricultural biodiversity, and as one of the world’s largest rice exporters, the Biodiversity Division, under the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), and as the CBD national focal point, organized a two-day meeting titled “Agricultural Biodiversity” on 22-23 May 2008 at the Miracle Grand Hotel in Bangkok.

The objectives of the meeting were to: celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, with emphasis on this year’s theme “Biodiversity and agriculture”; raise public awareness on the importance and interdependency between biodiversity and sustainable agriculture; disseminate knowledge and data regarding some particular aspects of biodiversity in Thailand; and promote and enhance the implementation of CBD in Thailand. Approximately 300 delegates from relevant governmental department/organizations, academic institutions, NGOs, private sectors and media throughout the country participated in the meeting.

Various topics presented and discussed in the meeting including: biodiversity and agriculture for food and nutrition (FAO presentation); endemic livestock in Thailand; rice and other important crops; pollinators; Thailand’s National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs); invasive alien species in Thailand; and the inventory of some particular biodiversity hotspots in Thailand (in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Kirikhan Province). Participants also received an IBD 2008 painting-screened canvas bag and new ONEP publications regarding biodiversity in Thailand, including Proceedings of the meeting on the Inventory of Crustacean Fauna in Thailand, Proceedings of the meeting on Taxonomic Needs Assessment, Proceedings of the meeting on the implementation of Global Strategy for Plant Conservation in Thailand, Proceedings of the meeting on the International Day for Biological Diversity 2007, and Birds of Dry and Semi Humid Ecosystem in Thailand.