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VN, US work to combat wildlife trafficking

Update: November, 18/2016 - 19:00
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI  A wildlife crime reduction project was announced by the US Ambassador to Việt Nam Ted Osius in Hà Nội yesterday.

The US$10 million project was funded by the US Agency for International Development aiming to reduce the impact of wildlife crime on endangered and threatened species.

Implemented from 2016 to 2021, the project is expected to reduce demand for and consumption of wildlife products, improve wildlife law enforcement and harmonise the legal framework for combating wildlife crime in Việt Nam.

The project is part of broader US Government efforts to combat wildlife trafficking which President Obama announced at the ASEAN Summit held in Laos in September.

Việt Nam is a priority country for the US under the Presidential Executive Order and US National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking.

“We are pleased to work alongside the Government of Việt Nam, national conservation groups and local communities to make a real difference in saving endangered and endemic species in the country,” Ambassador Osius said, announcing the project during a panel discussion on combating wildlife trafficking held in Hà Nội yesterday.

One of the highlights of the project is the integration of technology in tackling wildlife issues.

It is part of efforts to “get the message of combating wildlife trafficking out in a new and different way,” a representative from the US Department of State said.

Some of the initial tactics of the project include video collaboration with Vietnamese subtitles and interactive video games and mobile applications on preserving endangered animals.

Global wildlife crime continues to rise rapidly and has reached crisis levels. According to a 2012 report by the World Wild Fund, the illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth at least $19 billion a year.

At current rates, experts predict that the world’s most iconic endangered species, including rhinos, elephants, and tigers, will disappear from the planet within the next decade.  VNS

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