PM pleased with solution to ivory trade problem

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Government Spokesperson Prof. Naruemol Phinyosinwat.
Government Spokesperson Prof. Naruemol Phinyosinwat.

Bangkok – Government Spokesperson Prof. Naruemol Phinyosinwat has disclosed that Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha is satisfied with the effort being made in Thailand, to eliminate the problem of ivory poaching and sales, after Thailand was removed from the blacklist of CITES’s ivory smuggling countries last year.

The 18th CITES meeting is being held from August 17 – 28, 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting considered a report on an analysis of data from the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS Report) using data from 2015 – 2016. Thailand is not among a group of countries affected by the illegal ivory trade, resulting in Thailand being removed from a list of countries being called on to develop and implement an ivory action plan.

The Prime Minister reiterated that Thailand has had no major ivory trafficking case and there is intensive law enforcement in the matter. While there are still some ivory black markets, control measures have been tightened. The government has also improved the latest edition of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act which will become effective in November 2019. The new law will allow Thailand to comply more effectively with the CITES convention because protected species are defined and there are harsher penalties. The country’s removal from the blacklist helps reduce the risk of trafficking in over 35,000 species of plants and animals such as orchids and certain precious woods.

The Secretary General of CITES has expressed his admiration for Thailand for its successful compliance with the CITES convention and its apparent role as a regional leader and being a good example to other countries. The Prime Minister has insisted that the Thai government will continue to support CITES’s operations to preserve natural resources.