30 June 2011 – The Kingdom of Thailand became
the 20th signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding on
the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats
throughout their Range (Dugong MOU) today, when Minister
Suwit Khunkitti of the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment signed the Dugong MOU in Bangkok.
This is a most significant step for the South East Asia region as Thailand has the largest documented area of seagrass which supports one of the biggest concentrations of dugongs in the region. Thailand has been long recognized for its contribution to dugong conservation through its development of educational material, training, awareness-raising, research and monitoring efforts.
Thailand in collaboration with the Governments
of Australia and the UAE led the process of developing and
concluding the Dugong MOU that came into effect on 31 October
2007. With Thailand's signature, three of the twelve range
states in South East Asia have now signed the Dugong MOU.
Effective dugong conservation will require the concerted
action and regional collaboration of all the range states.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Minister Suwit Khunkitti
urged other range states to join Thailand in formally committing
to the Dugong MOU by signing it at their earliest convenience.