Govt pays Wildlife Day ‘little due’ (Thailand)


Bangkok Post

Date Published
Despite its role in designating today World Wildlife Day, Thailand has wasted an opportunity to reinforce its commitment on the special day’s first anniversary, a wildlife advocate said.

Janpai Ongsiriwittaya, WWF Thailand’s campaign leader on the illegal wildlife trade, said it was unfortunate the Thai government did not attend the recent London summit to report its progress on suppression of wildlife trafficking, especially efforts to wipe out the ivory trade.

Ms Janpai noted that regardless of any challenges or difficulties Thailand remains bound under international commitments to deliver progress on legislation regarding ivory trading.

Although the Thai government has begun a public hearing on proposed legal amendments, faster progress was needed. It has given the first anniversary little of the attention it was rightly due.

The date of World Wildlife Day was decided by Thailand while it hosted the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) last year.

The recent London summit, which was attended by heads of state, ministers and high-level representatives of 46 countries, including those most heavily affected by poaching and illegal trading of wildlife, pledged to take “decisive and urgent action” to tackle illegal trading globally.

Measures agreed by countries in a signed declaration include action to eradicate illegal wildlife products from the market, to strengthen law enforcement efforts, and ensure that effective legal frameworks and deterrents are in place. The declaration also calls for the promotion of sustainable livelihoods through positive engagement with local communities.

“The crisis facing the world’s elephant population needs action now,” Ms Janpai said, adding that failure to act will have a negative impact on Thailand’s reputation as well as the endangered jumbos.