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The Fortnight

THAILAND

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Oct 15, 1999 | From the print edition

-- The World Wide Fund for Nature ( wwf ) launched a year-long campaign to put an end to the rampant ivory trade in Thailand. Citing a recent report, wwf -Thailand said ivory trade has contributed to a rapid decline in the elephant population in Thailand and in neighbouring Myanmar and Cambodia. A survey has found shops selling ivory worth more than us $1.5 million, the wwf said. It did not include ivory sold at tourist spots in Thai provinces. "If the trade goes on unchecked, the degree of wild elephant poaching in Thailand and in neighbouring countries will undoubtedly be aggravated," said Robert Mather, director of the wwf -Thailand programme office.

Thailand imports and exports ivory. It imports ivory mostly from African countries, but some also comes from Myanmar and Cambodia and it is transhipped to Hong Kong, Europe and the United States. "The wwf campaign is to create awareness and educate tourists and the public of Thailand on the plight of elephants, poaching and trade in ivory and ivory products," Mather said.

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