March 14, 2013 00:00 By Tanpisit Lerdbamrungchai,
Former director of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department Damrong Pidech rallied outside the Chinese Embassy yesterday calling on the mainland to stop its trade of illegally-logged Siamese rosewood from Thailand.
Embassy official Chin Hua Huang accepted Damrong’s letter on behalf of the Chinese government.
China is believed to be the biggest consumer of Siamese rosewood, and Damrong said the smuggled timber went for between Bt300,000 and Bt400,000 per cubic foot or Bt3,000 to Bt4,000 per kilogram. He said there was a high demand for the wood in China as it is considered auspicious.
As Siamese rosewood is now listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)’s Appendix II, Damrong said it was even more important to get support from China, because if there is no demand there will be no supply.
National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department deputy chief Theerapat Prayunsitthi said more checkpoints would be set at risky areas, such as Ubon Ratchathani, adding that international cooperation can help conserve Siamese rosewood.
On Tuesday, Thailand won support to list the wood under Appendix II, which allows for the legal export of the timber under strict controls.