Earlier last week, the prime minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra has agreed upon banning of ivory trade in Thailand after receiving a statement from 1.5 million WWF supporters and Avaaz supporter during the opening ceremony of CITES (Convention On The International Trade In Endangered Species and Fauna and Flora) in Bangkok, capital city of Thailand.
During the ceremony, the prime minister alluded for the first time in public that the Thai government will make efforts in banning ivory trade.
According to Prime Minster Shinawatra ” Our next step is to start amending the country’s legislation with an aim to put ivory trading to an end align with other international norms. This effort will also help in protecting both local and African elephants.”
Banning ivory trade in Thailand – currently the world’s largest unregulated ivory market – will go a long way in championing the global poaching issue which has been led to a numerous amount of deaths in elephants, due to the never ending demand of their body parts.
According to Carlos Drews head of WWF’s delegation to CITES, “Prime Minister Shinawatra’s act of announcing the ban of ivory trade in the country is an opportunity seized. However that is not all, Prime Minister Shinawatra is required to set a timeline for the ban to come in effect. Time is a crucial matter as the slaughtering of these animals are still in progress.”
Thailand is currently the largest illegal ivory market behind China. Although the officials have certified almost 67 ivory vendors, the market surveys have shown that there are more than 250 ivory shops. Most of the products were bought by tourists.
According to the WWF website, “The prime minister’s decision comes as WWF and TRAFFIC continue asking CITES governments to sanction countries fuelling the global illegal wildlife trade. Poaching has escalated to crisis levels in recent years, and is a major threat to iconic species such as elephants, rhinos and tigers. Thailand, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo have failed repeatedly to address their rampant domestic ivory markets despite CITES rules that outlaw the unregulated sale of ivory. Under treaty rules, CITES member states can recommend that parties stop trading with non-compliant countries in the 35,000 species covered under the convention, from timbers to crocodile skins.”
For more information please click here.