Strengthening international cooperation between Viet Nam and some African countries in combating against transnational illegal wildlife trade
Ha Noi, September 23-24, 2021, Viet Nam National University’s School of Law (VNU-LS) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Viet Nam Program organize a two-day webinar on "International cooperation between Viet Nam and some African countries in combating against transnational illegal wildlife trade”. There are nearly 150 participants from law training institutions in Viet Nam; Supreme People’s Procuracy (SPP) and the People's Procuracy of provinces/cities having seaports, airports and land borders from Viet Nam; the Attorney General’s Office of Mozambique, Procuradoria Distrital da República-Mozambique, and their selected branches; Regulatory Compliance and Sector Monitoring Branch, South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), South African Embassy in Viet Nam, and other national and international agencies and organizations. The webinar focuses on discussing difficulties, challenges, and solutions from different perspectives and approaches in order to strengthen international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters in dealing with transnational crimes related to African – Asian countries, with particular emphasis on illegal wildlife trade (IWT) from South Africa and Mozambique to Viet Nam.
Speakers attending the workshop on September 23, 2021, ©WCS
South Africa and Mozambique are two range states in the IWT route from African countries to Asia. According to WCS’s open-source database, in the period of 2017-2021, out of 47 total arrests of illegal trading and transportation of rhino horn and ivory originating from Africa countries and destined to Viet Nam, there are 18 cases showed the connection between Viet Nam and South Africa, Mozambique. Therefore, combating this transnational wildlife crime requires close cooperation between Viet Nam, Mozambique and South Africa.
In this two-day webinar, participants will gain updated information on IWT specifically from South Africa and Mozambique, to Viet Nam; practical experience in handling IWT cases related to Vietnamese in Mozambique and South Africa; or cooperation between Viet Nam and South Africa including handing over samples from seized rhino horn cases for assessment and origin determination. In addition, representatives of the Viet Nam’s SPP, and the Attorney General’s Office of Mozambique will share challenges and pitfalls in realizing international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters in the fight and handling of transnational organized crimes. We expect to discuss solutions to prevent and combat transnational crimes and to strengthen international cooperation in handling IWT crimes involving African countries, especially strengthening law enforcement activities between Viet Nam and South Africa, Mozambique.
Mr. Albino Macamo, Honorable Director of Department for the Environment, Mozambican Attorney General’s Office said “The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is a major transnational organized crime, which generates billions of criminal proceeds each year. IWT fuels corruption, threatens biodiversity, and can have a significant negative impact on public health and the economy. Moreover, beyond the technicalities of the mechanism, international co-operation efforts require several factors to work. Each country must be committed to take positive measures to address this global challenge. In further the webinar, it should be involve organizing regular bilateral and multilateral dialogues. It will also likely strengthen include adopting or participating in multilateral coordination mechanisms”.
Signing the Viet Nam - Mozambique Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Maputo, December 2018, ©WCS
Ms. Nguyen Thi Que Anh, Dean of the VNU-LS shared in her opening remarks that “The webinar was held in the context that transnational crimes in general and illegal wildlife trade in particular from some African countries to Viet Nam are currently a hot issue. Therefore, this webinar is meaningful in theory and practical terms when we have formed a multilateral forum to exchange the problems of legal science. The approach and practice of applying the law on international cooperation in the settlement and handling of transnational crimes, especially transnational illegal wildlife trade”.
Ms. Hoang Bich Thuy, WCS Viet Nam Country Director shared “WCS Viet Nam commits to facilitate international cooperation and enhance the information and knowledge sharing to address transnational crime. We do hope that we are changers who make Viet Nam NOT the transit and final destination of illegal wildlife trade but endangered and precious wildlife are conserved and biodiversity dynamics are restored”
Capacity building training on wildlife prosecution for Vietnamese and Mozambican Prosecutors, Hanoi, March 2019, ©WCS
The workshop was organized with the support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the US Department of Foreign Affairs through the project “Enhancing enforcement cooperation between Mozambique, South Africa, and Viet Nam to combat wildlife trafficking.”
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Nguyen Thi Trang Nguyen
Communication Team Leader
WCS, Viet Nam Program
106, D building, No. 3, Thanh Cong Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: 024 3514 9750
Mobile: 038 992 9348
WCS has worked in Viet Nam since 2006 with a focus on combating illegal wildlife trade. WCS works to degrade, disrupt, and dismantle wildlife trafficking networks and reduce poaching pressure on wildlife populations. We facilitate collaboration and cross-agency action at domestic and international scales between key law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, natural resource regulatory agencies, and domestic and international non-governmental organizations. Our efforts have led to enhanced enforcement effectiveness, through the successful arrest, prosecution, and conviction of wildlife criminals.
During its 45 years of operation, the VNU-LS has always been known as one of Viet Nam's leading prestigious law training and research centers. Its reliable training and education have high-quality legal human resources and convergence of many dedicated experts and scientists. It is a pioneer training institution in the field of training program accreditation with many training programs at the undergraduate and graduate degrees have been accredited according to AUN standards - the network of Southeast Asian universities.
Event photos: link