United in zero tolerance of illegal wildlife consumption
Lao Cai, Viet Nam, 24th June 2016—The Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) has added its voice to the international call for zero tolerance of illegal wildlife consumption.
Today, more than 80 representatives of the Central Committee for Propaganda and Education (CCPE) from Northern Viet Nam gathered in Lao Cai to learn about the impact of wildlife crime and to establish an active nationwide communications response.
The two-day workshop was organized by CCPE and TRAFFIC to equip CCPE propagandists with the knowledge and tools actively to engage the CPV and public servants across Viet Nam, as well as the general public and the business community, in demonstrating a zero tolerance of illegal wildlife consumption.
This workshop follows this month’s CCPE conference to establish the direction of the media, where the CCPE leadership reiterated the role of communications experts in combatting wildlife crime in Viet Nam. The conference set reducing wildlife crime and establishing a zero tolerance of illegal wildlife consumption as two of the major priorities for the Vietnamese media.
An official letter issued by the CCPE after the conference directs communications staff to disseminate messages to the public about wildlife crime and the illegality of wildlife consumption in order to reduce wildlife crime in Viet Nam.
“The efforts by CCPE to establish a nationwide attitude of zero tolerance towards wildlife crime will improve the lives of everyday citizens and benefit wildlife threatened by poaching within Viet Nam and around the world,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam Office.
“It is critical that CCPE communications educate all members of society about how they can combat wildlife crime which threatens national security, sustainable livelihoods, national heritage and the country’s international reputation.”
The workshop included a formal field visit to Hoang Lien National Park, a biodiversity hotspot in Viet Nam, to provide an opportunity for CCPE staff to share their personal experiences in contributing towards the protection of wildlife.
“Viet Nam ranks among the top 16 biodiversity hotspots in the world. However, recent years have seen a significant decrease in this biodiversity, caused mainly by high levels of wildlife poaching and an increase in the number and severity of wildlife crimes," said Dr Bui The Duc, Vice Chairman of CCPE.
“As the official mouthpiece of the CPV, CCPE has prioritized encouraging our public servants and Vietnamese citizens to change their behaviour by adopting zero tolerance of wildlife crime and illegal wildlife consumption, especially noting that the reasons for consumption are unsubstantiated by scientific evidence."
As a result of the workshop, the participants developed detailed action plans to begin establishing a zero tolerance of wildlife crime throughout all levels of society. Each participant focused on the specific actions that could be taken under his or her own authority.
This collaborative workshop was the latest joint effort of TRAFFIC and CCPE to reduce consumer demand for threatened wildlife in Viet Nam. Together, TRAFFIC and CCPE have conducted various activities since signing a memorandum of understanding in June 2015, including developing materials for government officials and displaying posters in Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.