As the first step to minimize transnational wildlife crime, the Vietnam CITES management Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development hosted a roundtable meeting March 24. In support of this initiative, a Vietnam official indicated they are considering destroying stockpiles of elephant ivory, as well as rhino horn and tiger bone.

Earlier this month, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued a top-level directive to prioritize enforcement by all key line ministries, and to combat ivory poaching and trafficking across ministries. Unfortunately, there has been no coordination for more aligned efforts among the different parties and Vietnam.

Dr Susan Lieberman, Executive Director of Conservation Policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society welcomed this initiative by the Vietnam Government:

“In recent years, the international community has recognized that Vietnamese citizens have emerged as key players in global illegal wildlife trade, as traders, transporters, traffickers, and end-consumers for wildlife… If this decision is turned into action, it will set a high standard for other governments, and reinforce Vietnam’s commitment to treating wildlife crime as serious crime.”

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