Thailand set to destroy seized ivory stockpile


BANGKOK, June 27 —  The Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will consult with concerned agencies on the disposal measures for a stockpile of confiscated ivory.

Acting Director-General of the. DNP Nipon Chotibal said on Thursday that the department has planned the destruction of confiscated elephant tusks to show progress in Thailand’s efforts and cooperation in combating elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade.

According to Nipon, in order to proceed with the disposal, which will be done for the first time in Thailand, the DNP has sought approval from concerned agencies, both public and private sectors, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The approval meeting will be held on July 8, 2014.

Nipon told journalists that the ivory stockpile, confiscated from illegal traders and poachers since 1992, includes six tonnes of whole tusks numbering around 600, 330 ivory pieces and 2,500 ivory products, worth nearly Bt300 million in total.

Thailand has been known as one of the top entry points for smuggled ivory from Africa en route to China but has not been regarded as taking any real action in solving the issue, whereas China, Hong Kong and the Philippines have shown their cooperative action by burning seized ivory stockpiles previously.