Freeland, a foundation for a world free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery, has launched a “No Photos Please” campaign, encouraging tourists and visitors to refrain from paying for a photo opportunity with animals, most of which are of endangered species; such as slow loris’s and gibbons.
The “No Photos Please” campaign is being promoted at major tourist destinations in Thailand, including Pattaya and Phuket, as well as at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Freeland is also joining hands with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network and USAID in launching WildScan, a mobile application that identifies endangered species.
Developed under the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Programme and implemented by Freeland, the application allows users to input information such as the colour and size of the animal to quickly identify the species. It also includes essential animal care instructions and a simple reporting function. The app is meant to help properly identify the animals and create a rapid response to rescue them.
The ARREST Programme will work closely with all stakeholders to improve the app going forward and WildScan will be integrated into all future training for law enforcement.
Both the “No Photos Please” campaign and “WildScan” mobile app are initiated through a collaborative partnership between government and private agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations.
Thailand is taking part in the two projects, among other relevant initiatives, as part of the country’s commitment to help the global community combat wildlife trafficking and promote public participation for the preservation of endangered species.