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    ความสุขของเกษตรกร: ประกันความเสียหายของช้าง / Farmers’ joy: Insures for Elephant damage

    Natthaporn Chatusripitak, spokesman for the deputy prime minister in command of the economic system stated they have intorduced a whole new insurance coverage sheme which offers two tiers of coverage, tier 1 for a basic insurance coverage and tier 2 for a more extensive option, which caters both to those ready to pay more for better safeguard and to those obtaining insurance for the first time.

    Besides the usual cover for flood, drought, storms, cold weather and fire, the insurance coverage schemes would certainly now also cover destruction caused by wild elephants’ intrusion, Natthaporn said . Wild elephants are actually a threat for a long time to people residing near forest areas across Thailand, with numerous instances of invasion of agricultutal areas and residences . The problem of wild elephants intruding in to farmland had been distressing in recent years.

    In November last year, 40 wild elephants intruded 100 rai (16 hectares) of farmland in Loei’s Phu Luang region and damaged rice, corn and also a hut and water storage units. The attack triggered Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary officials and villagers to establish 15-strong teams to work in shifts round the clock to drive away the elephants. And also they advised people to never go out at night owing to the risk of elephant attacks. Last year, wild elephants in Chanthaburi too destroyed 30 durian trees, causing damage estimated at Bt400,000.

    Increasing apprehension over the severity of the issue saw the matter getting escalated and influenced the government’s inclusion of such a threat in the crops insurance coverage.

    It also led to a collaboration between WWF-Thailand along with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), ending with authorities fitting custom-built collars to 6 elephants at Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary in Chachoengsao province, since last December 22.

    The Sanctuary was specified a “red” area, showing that it was a high human/elephant difficulty zone and relevant extra consideration, in an effort to reduce the risk of human-elephant conflicts.


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