On March 3rd, Thailand’s leading university, Chulalongkorn University, hosted a public Town Hall meeting to discuss the urgently needed revision of Thailand’s outdated wildlife protection law, the Wildlife Animal Preservation and Reservation Act (WARPA).

The law was discussed and debated by academics, law enforcement officials, NGO representatives, and students who highlighted the weak penalties and legal loopholes as priorities for reforming the WARPA. The event, co-sponsored by the USAID and its partner Freeland, was part of the Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking Program’s iThink public awareness campaign.  

During the meeting participants reached consensus that the law needed reforming urgently to help counter the prolific and organized wildlife trafficking situation in Thailand.  According to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation more than 10,000 animals were confiscated in 2013.

Key recommendations included increasing cooperation between agencies, increasing law enforcement, and stamping-out corruption.  The Town Hall recommendations will be forwarded to relevant government agencies and the Committee of Natural Resources, Land and Environment of Thailand’s House of Representatives and Senate, the committee responsible for amending the WARPA.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update