Wildlife trafficking is driving our Earth’s most iconic species towards extinction. Wildlife trafficking also fuels corruption, insecurity, and funds militias and terrorists, jeopardizing local livelihoods and undermining national development strategies. Ending wildlife trafficking is an urgent conservation, security and development priority.
A rapidly growing middle to high income sector across Asia has led to higher demand for wildlife and wildlife products and an increase in poaching and wildlife trafficking. Vietnam is not only a hotpot market for wildlife trade and consumption, but also an important transit to other markets in Asia.
We prioritize some key areas of work, which can impact the illegal wildlife trafficking networks in Viet Nam and eventually support law enforcement agencies to arrest and effectively handle wildlife-related violations and crime; at the same time to detect risks to human and animal health at key interfaces of the wildlife supply chain.
Key areas of work of WCS Viet Nam included:
Supporting the development and improvement of the policy and legal framework on wildlife protection
- Establishes partnerships with policy-making agencies, contributing to reviewing, commenting on amendments, and influencing legal documents related to wildlife conservation.
Collecting, analyzing and providing information related to wildlife violations to support law enforcement agencies
- Conducts and supports research, synthesis and analysis of information on illegal wildlife trade related to Vietnam. This information is shared with law enforcement agencies to enhance the successful and effective detection, prevention, seizure and prosecution of wildlife trafficking cases.
Promoting bilateral and multilateral cooperation to tackle transnational wildlife criminal networks
- Enhances international cooperation among government agencies via working visits, bilateral conferences, international training, and facilitation of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Building capacity for law enforcement agencies in counter wildlife trafficking (CWT)
- Cooperates with government partners, organizes training sessions, seminars, information sharing, law enforcement capacity building training for national agencies and local counterparts. several Asian and African countries.
Increasing the participation of journalists and media agencies in CWT
- Cooperate with journalism institutions and media agencies to improve the journalist's capacity and propagate, raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade.
Conducting research and surveillance of epidemics in wildlife and possibility of disease transmission between people and wildlife
- Studies viruses with pandemic risk, especially those that can be transmitted between animals and humans.
- We monitor wildlife health in areas of human-animal contact, establish and strengthen biological monitoring networks for wildlife health, and assist government agencies to detect, monitor, and identify and report particularly dangerous pathogens and related diseases.
Conserving Hoan Kiem Turtle in Viet Nam
- In 2015, WCS Vietnam began to participate in the conservation of critically endangered softshell turtle -- Rafetus swinhoei. This species, the historic legend of Hoan Kiem Lake, up to now, only 2 individuals in the world have been discovered and confirmed Rafetus Swinhoei – a female living in Dong Mo lake, Son Tay town, Hanoi, Vietnam and an old male individual in Suzhou zoom Jiangsu province, China.
- WCS is currently working with the Ha Noi Department of Fisheries and the Indo-Myanmar Conservation to implement the Hoan Kiem Turtle Conservation Plan of Hanoi People's Committee for the period of 2018-2020, with a vision to 2030.
- In an effort to find more individuals of Hoan Kiem Turtle, WCS has conducted exploration in many natural lakes of Vietnam and recently developed real-time and on-site environmental DNA test kit of Rafetus swinhoei, bringing a new hope for this species.