China yesterday voiced concerns that the proposed listing of phayung trees in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) could reduce their supply.
The worry was raised as Thailand tried to justify why the international trade of phayung or Siamese rosewood trees needs to be regulated. While phayung is a protected species here, overseas no such curbs on its trade apply.
Chinese representatives also raised the question of how to distinguish Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) from other tree species. The proposal is on the agenda for discussion at the Cites meeting in Bangkok and a vote is expected early next week.
Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, deputy chief of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said the listing in Appendix II was important for efforts to control the international trade. After being added to Appendix II, exports would be registered. Exports of logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets would be regulated while those of saplings would not.
He also said authorities would also promote commercial cultivation of Siamese rosewood.
Surawit Wannakrairoj, of the Plant Scientific Authority for Thailand, said phayung trees were being planted as part of afforestation projects, which would provide sufficient supplies for commercial use. Thailand had made preparations concerning how to distinguish Siamese rosewood from other tree species. The Siamese rosewood identification guide could be incorporated in the international wood database in Germany.
Mr Surawit said the proposal was well received by participants and likely to be adopted.
Meanwhile, Mr Theerapat said Cites yesterday unanimously agreed with a proposal to come up with a specific definition for artificially propagated agarwood in Thailand.
He said the proposal was aimed at boosting the export and planting of agarwood while stamping out illegal logging activities.
Duangduen Sripatara, director of the Cites Management Authority of Thailand for Flora, said exports of artificially propagated agarwood would not be complicated once a definition was set.
Currently, exported agarwood undergoes analysis in the destination country to determine if it is an endangered species.
Ms Duangduen said strict controls were in place for exports of agarwood which would be examined before an export permit was issued.
Exports of agarwood were valued at 42 million baht a year and the value would increase by 30% after a specific definition for artificially propagated agarwood was set, she said.
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- Writer: Patsara Jikkham