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#Thailand – Conservation plan for hornbills

THE NATIONAL Parks, Wildlife, and Plant
Conservation Department announced yesterday that it would develop a
national plan for the management and conservation of hornbills.

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 This plan would be in line with an
international action plan introduced yesterday for the critically
endangered helmeted hornbill.

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A working group will be set up to develop the national plan, Pinsak Suraswadi, the department’s deputy director-general, said.

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He said Thailand is committed to protecting the majestic bird’s habitat
as well as reducing trafficking and trade of the bright-billed bird. The
future plan will also focus on reintroduction programmes so hornbill
populations can be restored in natural habitats.

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 The country also recognises the importance of research and training
while engaging all sectors, he said, and thus the Centre for Research
and Training of Hornbill Conservation will be created.
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Pinsak also praised the international plan and lauded Thailand’s
decision to adopt it, which marks a watershed in efforts to preserve the
species.
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“We are very pleased to support hornbill conservation in the region,” he
said at a press conference. “Today will be a great starting point for
moving forward together to save our species.”
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After the conference, a group of bird experts, including members of the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, got together to
discuss the plan. 
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FOR THE BEST GLOBAL HOTEL & FLIGHT BOOKINGS

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 Found in regions ranging from Africa to Asia, the birds are facing
increasing threats of extinction despite their critical ecological
roles.
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Helmeted hornbills, with specific home ranges in the forests of Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, are of a critical concern to
ecologists as demands for the bright yellow and black casques atop their
bills have surged in recent years, particularly in China for carved
ornaments.
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This is despite the fact that the species has been placed under the
protection of the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which has banned
all kinds of trade since 1975.
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In 2015, global bird experts came together to address the situation at
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), prompting the species to be up-listed
from “near threatened” to “critically endangered” by BirdLife
International.
.
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 A Helmeted Hornbill Working Group (HHWG) was also created under the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
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A year later, a resolution calling for an action plan for helmeted
hornbill conservation was issued at the IUCN World Conservation Congress
and the CITES CoP17, backed by members of the HHWG, while urging all
CITES parties to take necessary steps to develop and implement the
action plan.
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This 10-year, wide-ranging conservation strategy calls for international
collaboration and an increase in financial resources to scale up
conservation attention aimed at targeted population recovery across the
species’ range.
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A key priority is the need to eliminate trafficking and trade in
helmeted hornbills and derivatives by ensuring that the CITES Appendix I
listing for the species is effectively implemented.
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 Anuj Jain from BirdLife International (Asia) and a coordinator of the
HHWG, said: “Unless we protect key population strongholds and reduce
international demand, we stand little chance to save the helmeted
hornbill.”
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Thailand is an important country for the species, with high levels of
protection. Most long-term research on the species has been by the
Hornbill Research Foundation.
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Source – TheNation

 

Thailand – Wastewater poisoning #Phuket canal

Residents near Mudong canal in Wichit,
Phuket, are calling for officials to stop wastewater flowing into the
canal and out to sea. Dead animals have been found floating on the
canal.

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Yesterday (August 22) officials from the Environment Office Region 15 Phuket and others inspected the Mudong canal.
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Residents said the water is black and has a bad smell all along the
canal. Dead shrimps, crabs and fish have been found floating on it.
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The environment office’s Kanchit Sunthornkarn said: “At this stage we
have found that wastewater is coming from sewage produced by the
community. There are housing estates, restaurants and houses. 
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“We have to control the wastewater problem from the original sources.
The law must be enforced by officers. We still don’t have the technology
to solve wastewater in the canal once it has made its way into the
canal system. If we add more microorganisms, it will be worse.
.
https://12go.asia/?z=581915
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 “For a short-term solution, we have to use natural treatment because the
black water in the canal is caused by the drains. For a longer-term
solution, we have to find the original sources. Wastewater has to be
treated before being released into the canal.”
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Source – TheNation 

 

On Thai Island #Phuket, hotel guests check out of plastic waste

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For the millions of sun seekers who head to
Thailand’s resort island of Phuket each year in search of stunning beaches and clear waters, cutting down on waste may not be a top priority.

 

But the island’s hotel association is
hoping to change that with a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the
use of plastic, tackling the garbage that washes up on its shores, and
educating staff, local communities and tourists alike.
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“Hotels unchecked are huge consumers and users of single-use
plastics,”
said Anthony Lark, president of the Phuket Hotels Association
and managing director of the Trisara resort.
“Every resort in Southeast Asia has a plastic problem. Until we all
make a change, it’s going to get worse and worse,”
he told the Thomson
Reuters Foundation.
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Established in 2016 and with about 70 members – including all
Phuket’s five-star hotels – the association has put tackling
environmental issues high on its to-do list.
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Last year the group surveyed members’ plastics use and then began looking at ways to shrink their plastics footprint.
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As part of this, three months ago the association’s hotels committed
to phase out, or put plans in place to stop using plastic water bottles
and plastic drinking straws by 2019.
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About five years ago, Lark’s own resort with about 40 villas used to
dump into landfill about 250,000 plastic water bottles annually. It has
now switched to reusable glass bottles.
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The hotel association also teamed up with the documentary makers of
“A Plastic Ocean”, and now show an edited version with Thai subtitles
for staff training.
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Meanwhile hotel employees and local school children take part in regular beach clean-ups.
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“The association is involved in good and inclusive community-based
action, rather than just hotel general managers getting together for a
drink,”
Lark said.
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https://12go.asia/?z=581915
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CREATORS AND VICTIMS
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Phuket, like Bali in Indonesia and Boracay in the Philippines, has
become a top holiday destination in Southeast Asia – and faces similar
challenges.
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Of a similar size to Singapore and at the geographical heart of
Southeast Asia, Phuket is easily accessible to tourists from China,
India, Malaysia and Australia.
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With its white sandy beaches and infamous nightlife, Phuket attracts
about 10 million visitors each year, media reports say, helping make the
Thai tourism industry one of the few bright spots in an otherwise
lacklustre economy.
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Popular with holiday makers and retirees, Phuket – like many other
Southeast Asian resorts – must contend with traffic congestion, poor
water management and patchy waste collection services.
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Despite these persistent problems, hotels in the region need to
follow Phuket’s lead and step up action to cut their dependence on
plastics, said Susan Ruffo, a managing director at the U.S.-based
non-profit group Ocean Conservancy.
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Worldwide, between 8 million and 15 million tonnes of plastic are
dumped in the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the
human food chain, UN Environment says.
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Five Asian countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and
Thailand – account for up to 60 percent of plastic waste leaking into
the seas, an Ocean Conservancy study found.
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“As both creators and ‘victims’ of waste, the hotel industry has a
lot to gain by making efforts to control their own waste and helping
their guests do the same,”
Ruffo said.
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“We are seeing more and more resorts and chains start to take action,
but there is a lot more to be done, particularly in the area of
ensuring that hotel waste is properly collected and recycled,”
she
added.
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CHANGING MINDS, CUTTING COSTS
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Data on how much plastic is used by hotels and the hospitality
industry is hard to find. But packaging accounts for up to 40 percent of
an establishment’s waste stream, according to a 2011 study by The
Travel Foundation, a UK-based charity.
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Water bottles, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes and even food delivered by room service all tend to use throw-away plastics.
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In the past, the hospitality industry has looked at how to use less
water and energy, said Von Hernandez, global coordinator at the “Break
Free From Plastic”
movement in Manila.
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Now hotels are turning their attention to single-use plastics amid growing public awareness about damage to oceans.
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“A lot of hotels are doing good work around plastics”, adopting measures to eliminate or shrink their footprint, said Hernandez.
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But hotels in Southeast Asia often have to contend with poor waste management and crumbling infrastructure.
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“I’ve seen resorts in Bali that pay staff to rake the beach every
morning to get rid of plastic, but then they either dig a hole, and bury
it or burn it on the beach,”
said Ruffo. “Those are not effective
solutions, and can lead to other issues.”
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Hotels should look at providing reusable water containers and refill
stations, giving guests metal or bamboo drinking straws and bamboo
toothbrushes, and replacing single-use soap and shampoo containers with
refillable dispensers, experts said.
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“Over time, this could actually lower their operational costs – it
could give them savings,”
said Hernandez. “It could help change mindsets
of people, so that when they go back to their usual lives, they have a
little bit of education.”
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Back in Phuket, the hotel association is exploring ways to cut
plastic waste further, and will host its first regional forum on
environmental awareness next month.
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The hope is that what the group has learned over the last two years
can be implemented at other Southeast Asian resorts and across the wider
community.
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“If the 20,000 staff in our hotels go home and educate mum and dad
about recycling or reusing, it’s going to make a big difference,”
said
Lark.
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Source – TheNation

 

#Bangkok – Khaosan vendors to ‘disobey’ orders from Monday

ASIAN BEST HOTELS

Khaosan Road vendors will resort to “civil
disobedience” from Monday if Bangkok authorities do not allow them to
sell their wares during daylight hours, a leader of the Khaosan Road
Street Vendors Association said.

“We will defy the order and set our stalls up at the usual time,” Yada Pornpetrumpa said. 

The vendors are also planning to march to the capital’s City Hall at
around 11.30am on Monday to seek permission to sell their wares during
the day.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) banned street vendors from
trading during daytime since August 1. Though the BMA is coming up with
a new regulation to allow trading from 4pm to midnight, vendors at
present can only conduct their business from 6pm. 
https://12go.asia/?z=581915

 This time limit has meant a huge drop in income for daytime traders,
largely because they have to hand their stalls over at 8pm to vendors
who sell at night…

View original post 101 more words

Fern helps her mum sell food in Krabi. She also speaks four languages fluently.

ASIAN BEST HOTELS

five year old Thai girl,

A five year old Thai girl, who can speak three foreign languages, helps her mother to sell food along the beach in Krabi.

A young beach vendor who sells food along Klong Heng Beach in Krabi, is carrying two baskets with fruits and snacks. She can speak Thai but also Chinese, English and Bahasa Malay languages. She is seen daily communicating fluently with tourists and providing the correct change when tourists buy food from her.

The girl’s name is Warassaya ‘Fern’ Patin. She’s the daughter of 45 year old Sunee Patimin.

Khun Sunee say, “I have a fruit juice shop nearby here. My daughter carries the baskets along the beach. She greets tourists before she informs them what she has in her baskets. Many tourists like her and buy her food.”

“She studies in a kindergarten at Kitiwaitayanusorn School in Krabi. At her school they are also teaching three foreign…

View original post 174 more words

Pattaya City officials announce Songkran extended until April 30th, water play until 10PM

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Pattaya City Officials announced this week in a meeting at City Hall
attended by both Banglamung district officials, police and the mayor
that to encourage and boost tourism in the city the Songkran Festival
for Pattaya will be extended from April 12th-April 19th to April
12th-April 30th. Additionally, historically the water wars stop at
around sunset, however, to further boost tourism and drive the
reputation of Pattaya as “The fun city” the water fighting will be
permitted to continue until 10:00PM.
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Pattaya City hall stated the following to The Pattaya News in a formal statement:
 .
“We believe that by encouraging more tourists to come to Pattaya and
driving the reputation of Pattaya as a world class “Fun City” on the
level of Las Vegas and New Orleans in America we will boost overall
tourism numbers by roughly 35% and bring an estimated further 700
million baht alone to the Pattaya economy. These funds we can utilize
later in the year to provide better roads and complete the beach
beautification project. Additionally, these funds can be used to assist
in dealing with numerous waste management and trash related issues that
have plagued the city for the past several months. It is a win-win for
all involved.”
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https://12go.asia/?z=581915
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City officials further stated that they are planning several unique
events this year for Pattaya City to further encourage “Fun”.  They have
also confirmed that in coordination with the government Pattaya has an
official exception for allowing water play on main and secondary roads.
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The events outlined at the meeting for the now nearly month long festival include the following:
-City sponsored water soaking stations on all major roads, including
the highway and in the dark side as the city wants to encourage expats
to get into the spirt of Songkran.
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-Water soaking stations, sponsored by the city and manned by
volunteers and city officials in front of most major supermarket
entrances, banks and hospitals to ensure that everyone, including those
not in the party areas, enjoy the spirit of Songkran.
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 -7-11 has stated that they will be participating in the month long
festival as well by having a designated employee at the door soaking
every person entering and leaving the store, regardless if they are
dressed for the occasion as well in collaboration with City Hall.
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-The city will have sponsored water wars on Soi 7 between different
groups of tourists. Some planned events include French vs. German
tourists, Americans vs. English, Indians vs. Arabs and Russia vs. China.
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-Instead of the official flower shirt for the city the city officials
are encouraging men to go shirtless and wear official flowered thongs.
The thongs should be available at all markets midweek.
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If the event is a success City officials have stated that they are
looking at expanding Songkran even further, perhaps to a monthly week
long event to boost tourism.
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Oh…and Happy April Fools, folks.
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Source – ThePattayaNews