Creating zero-tolerance of illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam’s transport and logistics sector
Hanoi, Viet Nam, 2nd November 2016—Over 25 Vietnamese transport and logistic companies will join efforts to prevent wildlife trafficking during a risk-management workshop held at Nikko Hotel today, organised by TRAFFIC, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and the Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Association (VATA).
More than 60 representatives of the companies will gain a better understanding of the wildlife trade and the effect it can have on biodiversity, the legality and illegality of trade of endangered species, and the reputational opportunities corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices bring. This workshop, funded by the French Development Agency (AfD), is an important part of the efforts work to integrate a zero-tolerance to the illegal trade of threatened species in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam is facing more pressure to crack down on the illegal trade to and within its borders. After the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and the International Wildlife Trade Conference in Hanoi in November, the pressure is on Viet Nam to take tangible action to combat wildlife crime
Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC in Viet Nam
“The logistics and trade organizations taking part today are leaders in their sector and in demonstrating their commitment to take action to avoid threatened wildlife trafficking and consumption.
“This workshop signals they are aware of the reputational and criminal risks of being found involved—knowingly or unknowingly—in the trafficking of illegal wildlife and that they are ready to integrate a zero-tolerance towards wildlife crime into normal business activities.”
At the workshop, representatives from different companies discussed possible risk mitigation techniques that can help them run their businesses more sustainably and avoid becoming part of the illegal wildlife trade chain. An important tool is the integration of CSR practices to protect wildlife, which will ultimately minimise the risk of transporting illegal wildlife products, like rhino horn.
Nguyen Van Thanh, Chairman of VATA said, “It is important that these companies have an opportunity to learn about and discuss the legal and reputational damage that they can experience from illegal trafficking. These enterprises are reducing the chance of getting entangled in legal and reputational issues. By adopting zero-tolerance policies towards wildlife trafficking, they are making a clear statement that they want to protect endangered wildlife.”
The Viet Nam International Arbitration Centre also explained the different means to manage risks by showing examples of established economic contracts which can protect their business interests.
Together with VCCI and VATA, TRAFFIC is enhancing the capacity of Vietnamese businesses to reduce the illegal trade of wildlife in Viet Nam.
This is an important step as Viet Nam is in the process of joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP includes stipulations on wildlife protection where each country is required to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species. Countries in the TPP must combat and take measures to prevent illegal wildlife trade.
Viet Nam will be under more pressure to ensure that local businesses have processes and policies in place to actively avoid illegal wildlife trade. These companies are taking these steps already by integrating risk management practices and are adopting a zero tolerance towards the trafficking and illegal consumption of wildlife.
The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is an organization that represents and protects legitimate benefits of business communities. VCCI has a network of branches, representing offices and members nationwide.
VATA is a voluntary professional association where members are organisations and individuals who work on freight transport services sector. Established in compliance with the national law, VATA aims to gather and unite all members to ensure the right, legal benefits for its members and support for their operation to gain effectiveness and to contribute for development of socio-economic of the country. www.hiephoivantaioto.vn.