Global groups attempt to tackle wildlife trafficking

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HCM CITY — International and national organisations came together at two-day workshop last Thursday to promote co-operation in tackling illegal trans-boundary wildlife trade.

"This workshop is a unique opportunity for key enforcement agencies from Viet Nam and international organisations to learn from each other and co-ordinate efforts against international wildlife crimes," said Ha Cong Tuan, deputy director of the Directorate of Forestry.

Vietnamese and international enforcement agencies have shared challenges and best methods in combating illegal wildlife trade with the goal of enhancing existing mechanisms in controlling illegal cross-border trade. Discussions included ways to use knowledge of enforcement experts in other fields of illegal trade, such as international drugs and human trafficking.

Despite an increase in enforcement efforts by international organisations and governments to control illegal wildlife trade at the national, regional and global level, the practice continues in many countries, threatening several species including tigers, rhinos and elephants with extinction.

Complex routes involving organised trans-boundary crimes connect illegal wildlife to consumers around the world. Southeast Asia, including Viet Nam, has become both a consumer of wildlife and a conduit of products destined for other countries.

The workshop had a special focus on the illegal tiger trade.

In 2010, this iconic species has received a great deal of international attention, culminating in the International Tiger Forum held in St Petersburg, Russia late last month, where delegates from tiger-range States, including Viet Nam, signed commitments to protect Tigers, Tiger prey and Tiger habitat in order to increase the world's tiger population by the year 2022 to 7,000 from the current 3,200 individual tigers remaining.

"The hope is that discussions such as these, which draw on the expertise of both international and local agencies, will aid in the global fight against illegal trade in key species such as the Tiger," said Dr William Schaedla, Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, the wildlife trade monitoring organisation providing technical support for the event.

Around 30 Vietnamese representatives including forest rangers, law enforcement officials and officials of the Directorate of Forestry attended the workshop. — VNS

Post from: Vietnam News

Dec 8, 2010

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