FAO and the Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC) would like to note with appreciation the financial contribution of the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) that amounted to 5 million Yen (about US$ 48 000), half of which was donated by Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd for the country studies and the organization of the Workshop. FAO and JWRC appreciate the kind contributions of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office in Bangkok and the Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, for providing travel funds and air tickets for some of the Workshop participants.
The same gratitude is due to the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project in the United States of America, Melbourne Zoo in Australia, Los Angeles Zoo and Oregon Zoo in the United States of America, and Terra Natura in Spain for similar contributions, and to Fauna and Flora International, an NGO based in the United Kingdom, for sponsoring the participants from Indonesia and Viet Nam. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Disney's Animal Kingdom in the United States of America, the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Belgium, and Project Elephant in India, kindly provided experts to the Workshop and Mr. James Ottaway Jr., Executive Vice President of Dow Jones and an ardent conservationist, sponsored Dr Andy Teare, an expert on endangered species databases.
FAO and JWRC would also like to acknowledge the valuable support of the Forest Industry Organization (FIO), a state enterprise of the Government of Thailand, for facilitating the field visit to FIO's Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang. FAO and JWRC would also like to thank the Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai University, and Ms Anchalee Aree and the Maesa Elephant Camp for hosting the final session of the Workshop in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The Faculty of Veterinary Science, Mahidol University, under the leadership of Dean Dr Parntep Patanakorn, kindly undertook the management of the editing and printing tasks of the proceedings.
Mr Richard Lair, an expert on the domesticated Asian elephant, greatly contributed to establishing the basic framework of the Workshop and along with Mr Masakazu Kashio played a major role in its organization. The original idea for the Workshop was derived from Mr Lair's publication (FAO, 1997) Gone astray: The care and management of the Asian elephant in domesticity.
FAO and JWRC would like to express their gratitude to the government officials, university researchers, NGO staff, and individuals who conducted field surveys, prepared and presented reports, and actively contributed to the success of the Workshop. Special thanks go to Professor Iljas Baker, Mahidol University, and Mr Masakazu Kashio, FAO Forest Resources Officer, for editing the proceedings.
Last, but not least, FAO and JWRC would like to express warm thanks to those participants from many countries who used their own funds to attend the Workshop.
A group photograph at the Maesa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai, Thailand