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Lifestyle changes can contribute towards wildlife conservation

Changes in lifestyle, greater consciousness and a participatory approach can contribute towards wildlife conservation. This was stated by Dr. Klairoong Poonpon, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, while delivering the keynote address on the occasion of the World Wildlife Day celebrations organized at AIT on 1 March 2017.

Lifestyle changes can contribute towards wildlife conservation

Dr. Klairoong Poonpon

Presenting an action agenda that can be initiated by citizens, Dr. Klairoong suggested the greater use of recycled and sustainable products, and staying away from furniture produced from rainforests products. Recycling of mobile phones can help reduce mineral extraction, which is harmful to the natural habitat of gorillas, she said. Similarly, minimising the use of palm oil and reducing products that threaten the habitat of threatened and endangered species can also contribute towards wildlife conservation, she added.

Dr. Klairoong advised against the purchase of products that use tortoise shells, ivory, animal furs (particularly of endangered species), and crocodile skin. Harassment and cruelty towards wildlife needs to be stopped, and she requested citizens to report on such behavior to appropriate authorities. She also suggested that people should be cognisant of the impact their lives have on wildlife. While purchasing a house, do consider the impact it has on the habitat, she added.

The World Wildlife Day celebrations at AIT began with a video titled “Listen to Young Voices from AIT,” which includes students and young children who shared their opinions on wildlife. (Watch the VIDEO: https://youtu.be/ufiD1DlA2yo)

Dr. Robert Mather, Chief of Party, USAID Wildlife Asia spoke about the project “Wildlife Asia Activities.” Mr. Surendra Shrestha, AIT’s Vice President for Development delivered the opening remarks. The presentation on UNDP’s Community Engagement against Illegal Wildlife Trade was delivered on behalf of Mr Doley Tshering, Regional Technical Adviser. Dr. Somying Thunhikorn, Director, Division of Wildlife Research, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, elaborated on public participation in wildlife management. Mr. Manesh Lacoul, Deputy Director WEMS Secretariat, AIT Solutions spoke about Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System.