The wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have jointly launched the ‘Mercy is Power’ campaign to fight the buying and owning of ivory and tiger amulets, ahead of World Tiger Day on 29th July 2021.
DNP Director General Thanya Netithammakun said, as the DNP’s mission is to conserve, promote and restore forest resources, wildlife and plant species in forest areas, the campaign will persuade people to rethink and change their attitudes and behaviors towards the use of ivory and tiger amulets. This directly contributes to the department’s effort to combat the illegal wildlife trade.
UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand Renaud Meyer said social norms around wildlife products are evolving. More people are beginning to understand that buying or owning these products has a direct and negative impact on wildlife conservation and see it as increasingly socially unacceptable. Demand reduction efforts can help end the illegal wildlife trade and thereby conserve endangered species.
According to TRAFFIC, 369 tigers were seized in 49 incidents in Thailand between 2000 and 2018. A further 24 tigers were seized in six incidents in the country up until 2020. TRAFFIC monitored the ivory trade online in 2019 and found that more than 1,000 ivory items were for sale in Thailand over just five days in the snapshot survey. (NNT)