Viet Nam hosts conference on illegal wildlife trade
HA NOI (VNS)— Domestic and foreign experts and policy-makers joined a conference to discuss global solutions to transnational wildlife trafficking yesterday in Ha Noi.
The conference was hosted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Viet Nam.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan, said that slaughtering and trafficking wildlife as well as demand for wildlife consumption was a global issue which needed countries to take drastic and prompt action to bring it under control.
Viet Nam was committed to closely work with other countries in an attempt to fight against wildlife crime, Tuan added.
Director of CITES Viet Nam Do Quang Tung said that this year, the body would also submit solutions to deal with seized rhino horns and elephant tusks by 2015, he added.
The body also planned to finish a draft circular to instruct authorised agencies how to charge criminals for trafficking rhino horn and elephant tusk by the end of this year, he said.
Susan Lieberman, Executive Director of Conservation Policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said that the Wildlife Conservation Society was committed to its long-standing collaboration with the Government of Viet Nam, and other governments around the world, to effectively tackle this problem.
"We welcomed the statement from Deputy Minister Tuan who announced that his ministry was considering the destruction of Viet Nam's stockpiles of rhino horn, ivory and tiger bone, telling both the world and its citizens that there was no place in Viet Nam for wildlife trafficking, or the consumption or trade in endangered species such as rhinos," she said.
If this decision was turned into action, it would set a high standard for other governments, and reinforce Viet Nam's commitment to treating wildlife crime a serious crime, she said. — VNS