|Smuggled ivory seized recently at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The General Department of Viet Nam Customs is collaborating with the USAID Governance for Inclusive Growth (GIG) programme to improve coordination and law enforcement efforts on wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam. — Photo baohaiquan.vn
HCM City (VNS) — The General Department of Viet Nam Customs is collaborating with the USAID Governance for Inclusive Growth (GIG) programme to improve coordination and law enforcement efforts on wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam.
The ultimate aim is to eliminate trafficking in elephant ivory, rhino horn and pangolin.
Numerous international agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, include provisions about fighting wildlife trafficking.
Wildlife protection is identified as a key area of mutual cooperation between the US and Viet Nam.
"Combating wildlife trafficking is an area of mutual concern to both Viet Nam and the US. Over this summer, this shared commitment has been discussed at the highest levels of our governments" said Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, deputy director of Viet Nam Customs' Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department.
Speaking at workshop yesterday in HCM City, Tuan said that wildlife trafficking threatened extinction of species around the world, including some that have "long been the hallmark of Viet Nam's world-famous biodiversity".
Wildlife trafficking — poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products — threatens the survival of iconic species originating in Viet Nam and transiting through Viet Nam from other countries.
The Vietnamese tiger, elephant and pangolin are under threat of extinction, as well as species from beyond Viet Nam's borders such as elephants and rhinos in Africa.
As a result of poaching and illegal trade, Viet Nam lost its last Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) last decade, and the populations of other iconic Vietnamese species have dramatically declined or are at the brink of extinction.
Just 20 Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) remain, and fewer than 100 Asiatic elephants (Elephas maximus) remain in the country. The survival of Viet Nam's pangolin will not be viable if poaching and trade continues.
The workshop brought together policymakers, key law enforcement agencies and social organisations working to combat wildlife trafficking.
Viet Nam's Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department facilitated discussions among law enforcement and coordination agencies to help develop solutions to strengthen procedural reforms and identify obstacles to achieving successful prosecutions. —VNS