The Thai Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Suwit Khunkitti, has been awarded the winner of the 2009 J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership. The award was given out by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) on March 26th 2010 at the Plaza Athenee Hotel in Bangkok.
The Minister is well known for engaging civil society and non-governmental organizations for nature conservation and for his strong support for conservation-related constitutional reforms.
Representatives of IUCN acknowledged the Minister’s dedication to wildlife conservation in Southeast Asia. Dr. T.P. Singh, Head of IUCN’s Regional Group for Ecosystems and Livelihoods, congratulated Mr Suwit Khunkitti on behalf of Ms Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN’s Asia Regional Director.
Other key environmental organizations who expressed their support included the ADB (Asian Development Bank), TRAFFIC (Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network) and senior government agencies in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Thailand.