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Businesses to fight wildlife crime

Update: November, 27/2018 - 04:00
Staff from Four Paws - a Vietnamese non-governmental organisation - and forest rangers in the northern province of Ninh Bình rescue two bears that had been held captive for 15 years at a house in Ninh Bình City. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Leaders from 25 business associations in central provinces have pledged to combat illegal wildlife consumption by adopting new programmes to shed light on wildlife crime and the myths about consumption that are driving the trade in Việt Nam.

The leaders were attending a workshop in the central city of Quy Nhơn over the weekend held by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

At the workshop, the business associations developed a plan to integrate wildlife protection into their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

They also pledged in writing to use their influence to inspire others and step up as champions to protect endangered wildlife species.

“By pledging to be agents of change, these leaders can affect policy decisions in their organisations and disseminate key messages through their networks -- all of which help drive Việt Nam towards a complete cessation in illegal wildlife trade and consumption,” said Michael Greene, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director.

The workshop was held as part of USAID Wildlife Asia’s Chí Phase III Initiative, a social marketing initiative geared towards reducing demand for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products. The previous two phases of this Initiative, led by wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, have overseen the training of more than 20,000 businesspeople on incorporating wildlife-protection into their CSR activities. Businesspeople are a specific target audience of the Chí Initiative as they have been identified as a key rhino horn user group in past TRAFFIC research.

High-profile companies that have joined the initiative include the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group, Sun Group, Quang Vinh Ceramic Company and the Body Shop.

Writing contest for bear protection

The Education for Nature Việt Nam (ENV), the World Society for the Protection of Animals and Four Paws on Monday launched a writing contest “Give Bears a Better Life”, calling on young people to protect bears.

Young people aged from 11 to 17 years old are encouraged to write a letter to the owners of captive bears to persuade them to transfer them to rescue centres. The letters should be no longer than 500 words and submitted to ENV by March 15, 2019.

The awards ceremony will be held in September next year.

The writing contest is an activity to mark Việt Nam’s Bear Day that falls on November 26. In 2005, more than 4,300 bears were reportedly being held at hundreds of bear farms across the country. That figure had dropped to 800 bears as of October 2018.

According to ENV, demand for bear gall in Việt Nam fell by over 60 per cent from 2009 to 2014, which proved the country was on the right track.

ENV Deputy Director Nguyễn Phương Dung said it was time to exert more pressure on bear owners.

The contest provided a venue for the community to share their thoughts and feeling thus contributing to ending the practice, and spreading the message to the public, she added.

In Việt Nam, bears are kept to extract bile, a digestive fluid used in traditional Eastern medicine until the 1990s. Bear bile farming was outlawed in 1992 but owners were not forced to give up the bears, only serving to prolong the harmful practice. — VNS

 

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