“Let’s save wildlife together” was the message from the youth of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), which resonated at the opening of the World Wildlife Day 2017 celebrations in Thailand on March 1, 2017. AIT, through WEMS Secretariat in AIT Solutions and DNP jointly organized the event to mark the day.
Mr. Surendra Shrestha, Vice President for Development of AIT in his opening remarks, said, “AIT is a premier graduate institution in the interface of technology, knowledge and development that can significantly contribute towards the collective effort for sustainability through education, applied researches, extensions and trainings”.
Dr. Klairoong Poonpon, Director of the Division of Administrative Services of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) of the Royal Government of Thailand, in her keynote address, remarked on the need of educating the younger generations in order to enable them to appreciate the value of wildlife and vital services they provide and empower them to take positive decisions towards sustainable lifestyles.
Dr. Robert Mather, Chief of Party of USAID Wildlife Asia outlined the activities under Wildlife Asia. A presentation on Community Engagement against Illegal Wildlife Trade was delivered on behalf of Mr. Doley Tshering, Regional Technical Adviser, UNDP.
Dr. Somying Thunhikorn, Director, Division of Wildlife Research, DNP, outlined Thailand’s experience on public participation in wildlife management. Mr. Manesh Lacoul, Deputy Director of WEMS Secretariat, AIT Solutions presented about Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System.
The event on March 1 highlighted endeavors in raising awareness among the youth, engaging them in conservation of biological diversity and outlining ways that they could contribute to secure the survival of species at the brink of extinction.
The event continued on March 4, 2017 at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi Province, which served as an opportunity for AIT Community to witness conservation at work and gain up-close understanding of some endangered species of wildlife.
The World Wildlife Day celebrates the diverse wild fauna and flora that inhabit our world and benefit human life and the ecosystems. A large number of species are at risk of extinction due to multitudes of anthropogenic impacts on the biophysical world. Poaching and trafficking are one of the major causes of serious decline in biological diversity on earth. Safeguarding the future of the species is critical for securing our future and that of the planet.