Wildlife Fund Thailand, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen,
looks set to close because it has run out of money with the acting
acting secretary-general Sirajit Waramontri telling its 40 employees
on Thursday that they would be redundant as of July 27. Employees
were told that the fund's reserves had been exhausted, but that
they would get financial settlements.
of the Wildlife Fund Thailand will be a controversial move and on
closer examination there appear to be some rather disturbing facts.
Field officer Hannarong Yaowalert stated that the closing was "irrational"
because staff could still work even though the reserve fund had
been exhausted and that with many organisations sponsoring the fund
the continuation of conservation work was viable.
still has valuable assets; Bt4 million from main donors, Bt4 million
in bonds and an unused Bt4 million fund. Bt600,000 for salaries
has not been paid and the foundation's building is worth Bt15 million.
These assets should be returned to the Siam Society or the family
of Dr Boonsong Lekagul, who founded the fund in 1983.
and the fact that there seems to have been some disagreement within
the fund's administration makes one wonder about the real motives
of this announcement. In a report from The
Nation Newspaper, one employee openly critisizes the president
of the fund, something which rarely happens in Thailand.
For those wishing
to support wildlife conservation in Thailand please visit the Bird
Conservation Society of Thailand's website and the Oriental
Bird Club's website where becoming a member is simple.
Upton, 25th July 2007. Compiled from information in the Nation