Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Ivory Free Vietnam Campaign to stop the illegal trade in ivory and contribute to the global efforts to save elephants from extinction, has been launched in HCM City by Centre of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) and WildAid.
Speaking at the launch in HCM City yesterday, executive director of CHANGE, Hoàng Thị Minh Hồng said the campaign comprises three main activities: producing a series of international quality communications products; collaborating with authorities and national parks to organise workshops and training for law enforcement officers and raise awareness at border gates; and calling on the public to join the campaign to save the elephants, informing authorities to help close down shops selling ivory products, and persuading government agencies not to display ivory in their offices.
Đỗ Quang Tùng, deputy chief of the office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the Government has made a commitment to the international community to fight the illegal ivory trade and trafficking and makes great efforts to save wild elephants in the country.
“In order to effectively stop the global wildlife poaching and cross-country trade, the country needs the collaboration and contribution of international and local non-government organisations.”
In Việt Nam, elephants are revered and protected, and trade in ivory is prohibited.
However, large ivory shipments have illegally been made to the country in recent years.
Lê Nguyên Linh, deputy head of the Saigon Port Zone 1 Customs, said around six tonnes of illegal ivory were caught at the port in just three last months of 2016.
WildAid chief programme officer, John Baker, congratulated the customs authorities for their vigilance and success in interdicting illegal ivory shipments, and said his organisation looks forward to working with its partners, including government agencies.
“We are hoping to help Việt Nam become a leader in saving elephants by ending the ivory trade here, including transit shipments to other countries.”
The 2015 Miss Việt Nam Universe, Phạm Hương, said: “I will use my influence to help spread the campaign messages wide and far to stop the illegal ivory trade, to save elephants from extinction.”
The inaugural event also saw a sand art performance by Nguyễn Thế Nhân that narrated a moving story about ivory consumption and two videos featuring goodwill ambassadors. — VNS