Bussara Tirakalyanapan: International Women's Day CWT Spotlight

USAID Wildlife Asia is celebrating International Women's Day 2020 by highlighting some of our team members who are leading the charge on counter wildlife trafficking. Here we profile Bussara Tirakalyanapan (Pim), USAID Wildlife Asia Policy Research Specialist.


How did you start working in Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT)?

I haven’t been in CWT too long. After spending over 20 years working in the wildlife conservation, I did a post-graduate degree, an MSc in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from Mahidol University, Thailand. My thesis was related to a literature review and an in-depth study of the CITES Implementation and Wildlife Conservation Law, and my passion started from here. I think this subject area is older than the word CWT. We used to just call it "illegal wildlife trade," then it turned to "wildlife crime," then "wildlife trafficking," and now "CWT."

What has been your proudest moment in CWT? 

Every effort to help CWT issues grow, I'm proud to be a part of that. Some of the work I am proud to have contributed to is:  

  1. Supporting the process of developing Thailand ‘s Wildlife Conservation Law from 2002-2021, from helping with the government draft and up to 20 public hearings, revising, endorse, policy review, and being a resource person for the National Legislative Assembly, Committee on Natural Resources and Environment. 
  2. Giving technical GIS support to produce a patrolling map for park rangers in Khao Yai National Park (Thailand) and Bokor National Park (Cambodia) from 2004-2006, before Google Maps was born! 
  3. Receiving the Honorable Special Agents Awards from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for an Ivory case (2010) that involved Thailand-US cooperation.  
  4. Being nominated to be on the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) from 2013 to date. 
  5. Being an Advisor to the Standing Committee of Natural Resource and Environment of Thai Senate and attended the AIPA Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in Brunei Darussalam (2015-2016). 
  6. And so much more!

As a woman in CWT, how do you think we can bolster women in Counter Wildlife Trafficking? And how can we ensure greater roles for women in CWT?

To inspire other women, whatever your position, you can have a role in CWT. The genders are equal in this, men and women, and we can help to implement in CWT. You only need passion and to maintain your passion.