The government has submitted the first progress report on the implementation of the revised National Ivory Action Plan to the CITES Secretariat in Geneva. Foreign Ministry said in its website that the report of the revised NIAP which was sent to CITES on Thursday, covers five areas, according to Thai News Agency.
The first area covers the enactment of Laws and Regulations in order to effectively control and suppress African ivory smuggling which includes the amendment of certain provisions under the Wild Animals Reservation and Protection Act BE 2535 (1992) to prevent the illegal possession of wildlife specimens, carcasses and wildlife products, in line with the issuance of a new regulation granting African elephants the status of a protected species.
It also enacts the Ivory Trade Act B.E. 2558 (2015) in order to control the trade, import, export and possession of ivory and ivory products originating from domesticated elephant ivory.
And there is also the enactment of 17 Subordinate Laws, such as regulations under the Ministry of Interior's Beasts of Burden Act to prescribe a new form of Elephant Identification Certificate. Each elephant's identification information and scientific information (such as DNA) is stored in digital form (microchip), preventing the registration of smuggled wild elephants as domesticated ones.
The second area involves improvement of three registration systems: the registration system of ivory traders and ivory products list; the registration system for legal ivory possession from domesticated and African elephants; and the registration system for confiscated ivory.
These registration systems will be the central databases for information on ivory where concerned authorities will be able to access information about traders, ivory possessors, ivory products movement, changes in ownership and monitor confiscated ivory movements effectively.
The third area covers the supervision and Law Enforcement - Established 22 ivory trade patrol teams throughout the country, 11 joint task force teams to increase enforcement of ivory smuggling in high risk areas and at borders, seaports, airports and post offices.
Two cases, involving confiscation of ivory weighing a total of 165.7 kg and the arrest of criminals concerned, had been reported.
The fourth area was public relations - continuously raising awareness among the main target groups which are foreign tourists, ivory traders, ivory owners and the general public. For more information interested parties can visit www.thailandtoday.in.th www.tourismthailand.org or www.tatnews.org.
The last area was the mechanisms to resolve illegal ivory trade issues, by the establishment of four sub-committees to carry out, monitor, evaluate and regularly report to Thailand's National Committee on CITES and the Prime Minister.