BANGKOK, Thailand – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) of the Government of Thailand and IUCN co-host the 6th Asia Regional Conservation Forum, which aims to forge solutions to the region’s pressing natural resources, biodiversity and environment challenges for sustainable development in Asia on August 10-12, 2015 at the Royal Orchid Sheraton, Bangkok. More than 300 participants from 26 countries in Asia are attending this important forum.
On August 10, 2015, General Daopong Rattanasuwan, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, is giving a welcome speech for all delegates.
Thailand is one of the countries with the richest biodiversity, with 7% of 1.5 million species around the world. There are 15,000 plant species and 16,295 animal species identified, which consists of 481 species of amphibians and reptiles, 302 species of mammals, 982 species of birds, 2,820 species of fish and 11,900 species of invertebrates. Loss of forests as a natural habitat of these species would leave the biodiversity in crisis.
Therefore, the Thai government prioritizes the conservation and restoration of natural resources to stabilize economic security and the country’s and region’s development. His Majesty the King’s initiative of “Sufficiency Economy” has been applied to mainstream policies and is being used as a guide for the country’s development. In addition, Her Majesty the Queen has been renowned as the “Mother of Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Protection in Thailand.” Hence, the Thai government applies those efforts to nature and biodiversity conservation policies, including sustainable land use, natural resource restoration, promoting sufficiency economy for community livelihood and sustainable development. MONRE is a key agency to implement and ensure the achievement of these goals.
The Kingdom of Thailand was one of the 14 countries who signed the treaty that brought IUCN into existence, to work toward greater natural resource protection. The Thai government and IUCN have cooperatively worked together on nature conservation since 1957. The collaboration includes multi-disciplinary undertakings by several government agencies and IUCN. There will be a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and IUCN to be officially signed soon to enhance technical collaboration on sustainable marine and coastal resources management.
A number of Thai scholars and experts will join the forum to exchange their ideas with other delegates, as well as organize a side event to present innovations on protected area and forest corridor management.
Forest complex administration and the sustainable financial mechanism for protected area management will be shared with representatives from other Asian countries.