Business leaders unit (sic) to stop ivory trade(Thailand) 


The Nation

Date Published

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Top Thai business leaders on Monday pledged to protect elephants and end demand for ivory on the occasion of Thai Elephant Day,

WildAid united 15 prominent business leaders with a pledge to never use elephant ivory or other wildlife products.

In a show of solidarity, the nation’s top business leaders joined its call and urged stronger enforcement and more effective wildlife conservation action.

Thailand is a major destination market and trans-shipment hub to China and other markets for ivory products primarily from some of the roughly 33,000 elephants poached annually in Africa.

To help raise awareness on this issue WildAid enlisted the help of William Ellwood Heinecke, chairman and CEO of Minor International Pcl, to spearhead the effort by asking fellow business leaders to join the pledge and stand united against the illegal ivory trade.

“As business leaders, I think we can lead by example to help raise awareness about this critical issue in Thailand, help reduce demand for ivory and demonstrate the Thai public’s strong commitment to protecting elephants and the environment. Because when the buying stops, the killing can too,” said Heinecke.

Among the business leaders joining Heinecke was former deputy prime minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula and several from Thailand’s Forbes 2016 list including Santi Bhirombhakdi, president of Boonrawd Brewerly Co Ltd; Harald Link, managing partner of the B Grimm Group of Companies, and Banthoon Lamsam, CEO and chairman of the board of directors for Kasikorn Bank.

In an effort to grow corporate support in Thailand to end the elephant ivory trade, WildAid published the complete list of initial signatories, known as the Founders’ Circle, on the campaign website ( It is being promoted throughout the country to encourage more business leaders and the Thai public to take the pledge.

These efforts will soon be supported with public service announcements and visual advertisements in major cities.

“The business elite in Thailand, and the public, when aware of the problem, are very supportive of conservation,” said WildAid Asia program manager, Brian Adams.

“We are hopeful for the current government to reconsider its stance to gradually ban all ivory trading in the country, joining China, the United States and Hong Kong that have pledged landmark commitments to phase out their ivory trade as per the newly adopted CITES resolution.”