28 May 2024

Today, in Bangkok, Thailand, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Thai Authorized Customs Brokers Association (TACBA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to join efforts against the illegal wildlife trade. 

This agreement signifies a significant stride in safeguarding Thailand’s endangered species from illicit trafficking.

The signing ceremony, overseen by Mr. Phantong Loykulnanta, Principal Advisor on Duty Collection Management & Development at Thai Customs, highlighted the crucial role of customs brokers in identifying and stopping illegal wildlife trade. This important collaboration aims to protect Thailand's most vulnerable wildlife, including pangolins, birds, and reptiles, which are threatened by the demand for their meat, scales, and use in the pet trade.

Mr. Phantong Loykulnanta, Principal Advisor on Duty Collection Management & Development, added, “The illegal wildlife trade poses a grave threat to biodiversity. Through collaboration between TACBA and ZSL, we can amplify our efforts to combat this issue and pave the way for a more sustainable future.”

We, together with TACBA are dedicated to improving surveillance and monitoring along trade routes to identify in swift response and responding to illicit wildlife trade practices. The partnership also aims to raise awareness among TACBA's network of customs brokers, advocating a zero-tolerance stance towards illegal wildlife trade. Leveraging the combined expertise and resources of both organizations, this agreement forges a unified front against wildlife traffickers, ensuring robust enforcement of wildlife protection laws.

MOU Thailand

Mr. Anant Tinaprongs, President of TACBA, echoed this sentiment, adding, “TACBA upholds the highest standards of ethical trade practices. This partnership with ZSL Thailand enables us to harness our members’ expertise in combatting illegal wildlife trafficking and contributing to a sustainable future.”

Ms. May Moe Wah, ZSL Thailand Country Director, expressed, “From birds crammed into PVC pipes to pangolins suffocating in concealed car compartments, our ongoing efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade have exposed the callous methods employed by traffickers. This collaboration with TACBA marks a significant leap forward in our mission to halt these activities and safeguard Thailand’s wildlife.”

Prior to this collaboration, TACBA demonstrated its commitment to wildlife protection by signing the Buckingham Palace Declaration. This underscores their dedication to ethical trade practices and combating illegal wildlife trade activities.

Thailand is a major transit point for illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. The collaboration between ZSL and TACBA aims to disrupt smuggling networks and reduce the illegal trafficking of wildlife. By integrating TACBA’s extensive network and expertise, this partnership will make significant strides in safeguarding Thailand’s biodiversity.

Dr. Andrew Terry, ZSL’s Director of Conservation and Policy, remarked, “Addressing the extinction crisis demands bold and collaborative action. This partnership with TACBA underscores the pivotal role that all sectors, including customs brokers, play in protecting wildlife and nurturing thriving ecosystems.”

Combatting illegal wildlife trade