Viet Nam’s transport sector adopts a zero tolerance to wildlife crime in “hotspot” area
Hai Phong, Viet Nam, 9th June 2017—160 local drivers and managers from the transport industry met today in Hai Phong province at a specialist workshop to learn more about the important role the transport sector can play in mitigating illegal wildlife trade and consumption in Viet Nam and abroad. The workshop was organized by TRAFFIC and the Viet Nam Automobile Transport Association (VATA).
Building upon a successful workshop conducted in Hanoi last week, representatives from TRAFFIC and VATA provided specialist training on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the transport sector with an emphasis on diminishing wildlife crime and the demand for illegal wildlife consumption. The training also covered information on legislation governing the transport of wildlife products and reputational risk management.
Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam office, Madelon Willemsen, underlined the importance of holding workshops in “hotspot” areas for trafficking such as Hai Phong province in Viet Nam.
There are certain places where illegal wildlife trade is particularly threatening, known as ‘hotspots’. Hai Phong province’s major port and proximity to the Chinese border makes it vulnerable to being a ‘hotspot’. While these areas are of concern, they also provide the greatest opportunity for us as a community to make the greatest difference, and to put an end to poaching and trade of threatened species
Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam officeWillemsen continued, “Transportation is used to traffic wildlife commodities from these hotspots to consumers, with the traffickers using individuals within the transport sector—both with and without their knowledge—to support their illegal wildlife trade. It is important to close this channel of opportunity for criminals to carry out their illegal business.”
Dr Nguyen Van Thanh, Chairman of VATA also described the importance of risk management, “Risk management is a crucial component of a successful and sustainable business, especially for transport companies. We are giving participants the tools to integrate a zero-tolerance towards wildlife crime into their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies and help stop the illegal trade. These companies are making responsible and sustainable business choices by joining us to protect local and global wildlife. This training will have a ripple effect upon the transport sector, reducing the reputational risk of these businesses while also fighting wildlife crime.”
As an outcome of earlier training workshops, some companies have already committed to displaying behaviour change messages in their offices, cars/trucks and at their operating facilities. Other companies have also shared their vision for incorporating clear guidance and instructions to their staff through their company’s code of conduct on their zero tolerance for being involved in the transport of illegal wildlife products or consumption of threatened wildlife.
This training workshop, funded by the Agency for French Development (ADF), was developed last year by TRAFFIC and VATA to provide the transport sector with the means to integrate CSR and manage reputational risks. The training has so far reached over 300 staff at management and ground level in VATA’s transport company network.
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.