More wildlife farms planned
The Biodiversity-Based Economy Development Office (BEDO) is promoting the commercial breeding of certain wildlife species, which could bring both economic and conservation benefits to the country. Apiwat Sretarugsa, BEDO's executive director, explained that many wildlife species found in Thailand have strong potential for commercial breeding, which would generate significant income for farmers. However, the scheme requires added commitment from the government if it is to become a major economic success.
''Currently, only a few species of wildlife are being bred in the country on a commercial scale, such as deer, crocodile and certain types of birds.'' said Mr Apiwat.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment issued a ministerial regulation in 2003, allowing the commercial breeding of 59 species of wildlife. They include eight mammals, 42 birds, six reptiles, two fish and one amphibian.
The practice will be promoted at an exhibition to be staged at Kasetsart University in Chatuchak district from Aug 21 to Aug 23, titled ''Biodiversity Resources: A Route for a Self-sufficient Economy and Strong Community''.
The exhibition will also look at other biodiversity-based businesses such as suppliers of natural remedies and supplementary foods. There will also be a focus on environmental activities being carried out in rural communities, for example the mangrove protection project in Trat province.
An officer from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation admitted that the commercial breeding of wildlife has not been a great success so far. Less than 20 species are being commercially bred.
Wednesday August 13, 2008