The “All Hands on Deck” session, held earlier this month, was attended by around 60 government regulators and marine sector professionals over the course of two days. The goal was to get insight and inspiration for fighting illicit wildlife trading (IWT) at harbors.
The Thai government was represented by the Maritime, Customs, and Environment Departments; the Thai International Cargo and Container Terminals Association; and the Bangkok Shipowners and Agents Association; all of these organizations participated in the international discussion on reducing wildlife trafficking.
More than 30 experts from international maritime trade groups, development organization representatives, representatives from other industries, and observers from countries including Kenya, Vietnam, and France were also present.
A growing number of people understand that IWT is a global, multibillion-dollar illegal sector that poses serious risks to national security, undermines the rule of law, and provides a fertile ground for corruption. It helps criminal organizations while depriving people of their rightful means of subsistence.
The purpose of the workshop is to aid in Thailand’s application of the IMO’s recently approved guidelines. These measures are meant to put a stop to the illegal transport of animals across international waters. The 46th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee Plenary of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) accepted the Guidelines at the beginning of the year, with the Thai government playing a key role in their examination and approval.
As part of the program, participants were also introduced to the red flag indications for wildlife and wood trafficking in containerized marine freight compiled by WWF and TRAFFIC. This guide is meant to assist those working in the marine business in spotting wildlife trafficking within cargo shipments and disrupting criminal activity associated with it.