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On 22nd February, the Thai Ramsar site Nong Bong Khai celebrated its 3rd World Wetlands Day

24-Feb-2005

Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area Celebrated its 2nd World Wetlands Day Thailand became a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention on 13 May1997. Thailand’s first Wetland of International Importance is Khuan Kee Sian, a swamp forest site adjacent to Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area, Pathhalung Province in the south of Thailand.

In 2001, Thailand nominated Nong Bongkhai Non-Hunting Area as Thailand’s 7th Ramsar Site. The 1101st Ramsar Site, wetland of Nong Bong Khai Wildlife Non-hunting Area, Chiang Rai Province, is a small fresh water lake with total area of 434 hectares (ha) located in a valley of Chiang San District. Nong Bong Kai was declared a wildlife non- hunting area in 1985. The site is an important habitat for visiting birds in winter. Of 121 visiting bird species found at the site, 23 are waterfowl while others such as purple heron, black stork, black kite were classified as endangered species. The site is also the habitat of badis which can be found only in freshwater reservoirs in the southwestern section of the Mekong River Basin. On 22nd February 2005, Nong Bong Khai celebrated its 3rd World Wetlands Day; its first celebration was held in the year 2003. The event was organised by Yonok Local Administrative Organisation, the Implementation of Ramsar Convention, Protection and Management of Wetland Areas (MPW) and Wetlands International-Thailand Programme. The event was organised in conjunction with the Annual Bird Spirit Day. The event was officially opened by Mr. Nopporn Tonrub, Chiang Rai Vice Governor; The celebration aimed to increase understanding of the value, functions and sustainable wise use of wetlands through awareness campaign activities. It was also aimed to bring community members together in order to learn more about wetlands and generate an opportunity for publicity/media coverage and dissemination. The celebration was attended by over 2,000 students from Chiang Saen district and nearby areas, including (Ban Rong Bong, Ban San Thard, Thung Fa Harm, Ban Doi Chan, Ban Pang Mor Piang and Chum Pasak Noi schools). The event also was also of interest to local community members, local media and foreign tourists. Activities included drawing, article writing, public speaking by students for wetlands competition. Traditional fishing gear was displayed in order to promote a sustainable use of fishery resources, while the Bird Spirit Celebration aimed at bringing in local wisdom for the protection and conservation of waterbirds The celebration was supported by the “Implementation of Ramsar Convention, Protection and Management of Wetland Areas-MPW” project. The MPW is jointly supported by Danish and Thai governments. The MPW project is targeted at sustainable management and wise use of wetlands in Thailand through addressing the planning and management aspects, as well as awareness raising, thus supporting Thailand’s implementation of the Ramsar convention. The project is based on a multi-stakeholder approach, awareness campaigns, institutional strengthening and capacity building, combined with demonstration activities for participatory management planning in the selected pilot wetland areas of Chiang Rai and Krabi provinces. At the central level, a special effort is being given to inter-agency and intra-agency co-operation in order to secure a needed multi-sector approach. Furthermore, Thai government staff have been trained in participatory planning and management issues relevant to wetlands. Awareness campaigns have been developed and conducted throughout the project targeted at different relevant stakeholder groups including the wider public, the central administration, school students and teachers and the local people in the pilot wetland areas. For more information about the project, please contact: Mr. Barry Hall MPW Project Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning 60/1 Soi Piboon Wattana 7, Rama IV Road Phayathai, Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66-2-2986075 Fax: +66-2-2986078 E-mail: barry@mpw.in.th Asae Sayaka Wetlands International-Thailand Programme PO Box 95, Kor Hong Post Office Hat Yai 90112, Songkhla Province Thailand Tel/Fax: +66-74-429307 E-mail: asae-s@psu.ac.th

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