Event Advisory: Thai Buddhist leaders to pray for poached African elephants and call for end to ivory use



Posted on 08 March 2013  | 
What: At the first-ever traditional Buddhist merit-making ceremony to pray for the tens of thousands of elephants poached annually, revered Thai Buddhist leaders will call upon their congregations and other temples to reject the use and trade of ivory.  The event will also feature a 3D elephant art installation by the renowned artist Remko van Schaik in the courtyard of one of Bangkok’s iconic temples. Monks, members of the Thai public, government representatives, celebrities like Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova, and delegates from the ongoing CITES meeting are expected to attend.

When: Saturday, March 9, 2013

4:30 – 5:30pm: 

Photo opportunities: Flower offerings at 3D elephant art installation, Prayers for elephants at wishing tree
Media interviews: Ajahn Jayasaro, forest monk and Buddhist teacher, previous abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat; Phra Maha Jerm Suvaco, General Director of the Buddhist Research Institute of the Maha Chula Buddhist University; Mae Chee Sansanee, founder and Director of Sathira-Dhammasathan Center

5:30 – 6:30pm: Teachings on “Buddhism and Elephant Conservation”
6:30 – 7:00pm: Prayer ceremony and traditional offerings made to monks
7:00 – 7:30pm: Closing

Media interviews: Phra Paisal Visalo, Abbot of Wat Pasukato, Chaiyaphum Province, Thailand; Phansiri Winichagoon, Director, WWF Thailand; Dekila Chungyalpa, Director, WWF Sacred Earth Program

Where: Wat That Thong
Sukhumvit Road between Soi 63 and 65, (BTS Ekkamai station)
Bangkok, Thailand

Why: Illegal ivory carved into images of the Buddha, amulets, and other objects of worship are highly sought, sold, and bought by devout Thais and Buddhists around the world. Thailand is the world’s largest unregulated ivory market and a major sink for ivory poached from Africa.

Supported by WWF, the event aims to educate the deeply religious Thai public on the link between ivory and wildlife crime, and encourage the leadership of Buddhist temples and congregations to discontinue the use and trade of ivory. 

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently received over 1.5 million petitions calling on Thailand to ban its ivory trade. This week she pledged to start a legislative process to end ivory trade in Thailand at the opening ceremony of CITES, the international wildlife trade meeting.

Contacts:

Preeyapa Temcharoen, ptemcharoen@wwfgreatermekong.org +66 890224474

Astrid Korolczuk, Astrid.Korolczuk@wwf.de +49 15118854803 / +66 9 15071594   

Trishna Gurung, trishna.gurung@wwfus.org +1 2022038863/ +66  860767463

Carmen Arufe, carufe@wwf.es +34 638603884

Chalk artist Remko drawing a 3D elephant installation at iconic Thai temple Wat That Thong in Bangkok. Buddhist leaders will call upon their congregations and other temples to reject the use and trade of ivory at a public ceremony on 9 March 2013.
© WWF Enlarge

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