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Thailand to re-open the export of elephants after a 10 year ban

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Thailand to re-open the export of elephants after a 10 year ban | The Thaiger
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After more than ten years with a ban on the export of Thai elephants, Thailand’s Foreign Trade Department is now poised to ease restrictions paving the way for the export of the protected species for ‘non-commercial purposes’.

The director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, Mr. Adul Chotenisakorn, says the Ministry of Commerce issued a new regulation on April 10 to set the guidelines for the export of Thai elephants.

It says live elephants can be exported for research or for the promotion of bilateral relations between Thailand and the recipient country. The export of elephant products or parts for research, or to be kept as archaeological or artistic objects, will also be allowed. The elephants to be exported must also be legally registered.

But Mr. Adul says that since elephants are a protected species and are regarded more highly in Thailand than the other animals, the export issue is sensitive and, hence, the need for all stakeholders to be informed and to share their opinions about the issue.

For the elephants to be exported, he said that it must be assured that they will be treated properly by experts in accordance with the standards set by the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums and The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

According to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, there are about 4,000 wild elephants spread over seven forests in Thailand, as well as hundreds of domesticated elephants which are mostly used for in the tourism industry. The number of wild elephants has recently been rising, at a rate of about seven percent annually.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Thailand

Human feces dumped in watershed contaminates Karen people’s drinking water

Caitlin Ashworth

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Human feces dumped in watershed contaminates Karen people’s drinking water | The Thaiger
PHOTO: one31

A truck allegedly dumped a tank of human feces in a watershed that drains into water sources used by a group of Karen people, leaving the community in Northern Thailand’s Tak province with no clean drinking water. Around 200 Karen people gathered at a police station in the Phop Phra district to file a complaint.

For generations, water drained from the watershed has been used by the Karen people. Recently, there have been other incidents involving waste dumped in the watershed and locals have been concerned that the polluted water could affect their health.

The Karen people say they identified the business behind the dumping. Nation Thailand did not report on the name of the business, but says the company agreed to pay 10,000 baht in compensation. Legal action against the business may follow.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Krabi

Homeless hermit crabs in Koh Lanta need seashell donations

Caitlin Ashworth

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Homeless hermit crabs in Koh Lanta need seashell donations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Moo Koh Lanta Marina National Park

Hermit crabs on Moo Koh Lanta Marine National Park have been seen making homes out of broken glass bottles and other pieces of trash. With the shortage of shells on the Krabi beaches, park officials have launched a project called “Returning Homes to Hermit Crabs.”

The park made a post on Facebook with photo a hermit crab that appears to be living in a broken glass bottle. So far, a number of people responded and pledged to donate around 200 kilograms of shells. A park official, who spoke to the Bangkok Post, says they still need more.

“We still need more… All donated items will be dropped on beaches for hermit crabs to choose their new homes.”

The number of hermit crabs is rapidly growing, but the island doesn’t have enough shells for the crabs and many have resorted to trash left on the beach. The park official says they don’t believe tourists contributed to the shortage of seashells.

“Some tourists might take shells home but that was not the underlying cause of the problem… There are simply more hermit crabs than shells.”

To donate or to get more information, contact the park at 075-656-576.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Air Pollution

Urgent plan to reduce PM2.5 – National Environment Board

Caitlin Ashworth

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Urgent plan to reduce PM2.5 – National Environment Board | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Nick van den Berg

With the air pollutant PM2.5 rising to harmful levels in some areas of Bangkok and increasing in other cities, the National Environment Board has approved an urgent plan. Pollution Control Department chief Atthaphon Charoenchansa says the plan has 12 measures to tackle pollution. It will be submitted to the Cabinet for review.

A “pollution information centre” will be formed with a spokesperson to report on Thailand’s air quality situation and a subcommittee focused on forest fires in 17 northern provinces. The committee would act similar to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration by providing information to the public and working on solutions.

The plan also includes a smartphone application to regulate seasonal burning which contributes to Thailand’s air pollution. The application would be used to book specific times for burning.

The board is also looking into using satellite images through the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency to predict levels of dust pollution and provide alerts with a forecast.

“A 3 day advance dust forecast is the most practical tool to deal with PM2.5 by alerting people in affected areas via SMS.”

According to the Air Visuals, pollution levels are expected to rise this week to an Air Quality Index, or AQI, of 151 to 200, which is considered to be unhealthy. Air Visuals recommends closing windows at home to avoid the dirty outdoor air and to reduce outdoor exercise.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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