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Wildlife conservation work requires public awareness

Update: December, 19/2013 - 09:30
"Raising awareness is a critical aspect of reducing demand for wildlife products," Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen said.— Photo tinmoitruong

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Tuesday held a meeting with central and local Party agencies, various ministries and other organisations on the critical issue of wildlife conservation.

Delegates discussed the current situation, challenges, and possible solutions for wildlife conservation with a particular focus on illegal and unsustainable consumption of animal parts.

Despite efforts to control the trade and protect wildlife, the illegal consumption has led to an alarming decline in wild populations of many mammal, bird, and reptile species, and poses a major threat to the survival of many endangered species in Viet Nam, according to participants.

A key outcome of the meeting was a resolution that will be communicated by the Central Committee for Popularisation and Education (CCPE) to all levels of the Party with guidelines to raise public awareness of the importance of wildlife, protection laws, and the impact of illegal consumption and trade on society.

It will instruct all Party offices to develop short- and long-term communication plans to address illegal wildlife consumption.

"Raising awareness is a critical aspect of reducing demand for wildlife products," Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen said.

"Illegal wildlife consumption has negative consequences for the whole of society and sustainable development of our economy.

"As a result of this meeting, many sectors will now have a better understanding of these consequences and join efforts to reduce wildlife consumption."

The meeting was the first under a new memorandum of understanding between the ministry and the CCPE in October.

The three-year agreement seeks to improve political will and awareness among Party members and the public of the environmental issues.

"We recognise the urgent need for widespread education on this issue, and are very happy that the first co-operative action between the ministry and the CCPE has occurred so soon after signing the MOU," Bui The Duc, deputy chairman of the CCPE, said.

The Department of Forestry reported nearly 18,500 cases of illegal wildlife consumption, and seized more than 199,300 animals and birds between 2,000 and 2013.

But they are thought to make up just 5-10 per cent of the wildlife illegally consumed, the meeting heard. —VNS

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