BANGKOK, Sept 9 — Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce is trying to control local ivory traders and effectively enforce relevant laws to enable Thailand to avoid costly trade sanctions.
Pongpan Jiarawiriyipan, director-general of the Department of Business Development, said that her department and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation were trying to systematically regulate local ivory traders and update their registration.
The Ministry’s action comes after Thailand was named one of eight countries seriously watched for illegal trade in elephant tusks and rhinoceros horn and is considered as a major world ivory market.
Ms Pongpan said that officials of both departments would meet the traders nationwide and convince them to update their registration.
They would start by meeting operators at the Chatuchak and Tha Phrachan areas of Bangkok as they are two major locations of ivory trading, she said.
“Being one of the eight countries in the watch list and failing to strictly control ivory trade, Thailand may be boycotted by other countries with sanctions against trade in all commercial products under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) such as orchids, reptile skins, bleached leather and rare plants.
“This will affect Thailand’s exports and imports in the future. CITES requires Thailand to solve the problem within March 2015; otherwise, it will impose a decisive measure to boycott Thai products,” Ms Pongpan said.