During the opening of CITES CoP16 on March 3 which was attended by representatives from 178 countries worldwide, Ms Yingluck publicly announced that Thailand will tighten controls on local tusk trade by systematically registering domestic elephants and ivory products. Her next move is expected to include amending the national legislation with the goal of putting an end to ivory trade in accordance with international norms.
International media have been turning towards Prime Minister Yingluck after she received a petition from 1.5 million people around the world calling for a ban on ivory trade in the country. The premier stated that elephants are very important to Thai culture and it was unfortunate that many have used Thailand as a transit country for the illegal international ivory trade.
Thailand has been accused by conservation groups of fuelling the already rampant slaughter of African elephants and trade in their ivory through lax enforcement of law and regulation of its legal domestic market.
CITES CoP16 is taking place at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok until March 14.