Improving wildlife monitoring in Vietnamese trade channels
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 15th August 2016—Leaders from transport and logistic enterprises joined local law enforcement agencies in a two-day workshop last week in Ho Chi Minh City to bolster their capacity to fight wildlife crime and reduce demand for wildlife consumption within the transportation sector.
More than 80 participants from 33 logistic companies, including members from the Viet Nam Association of Transportation and Automobiles, and government departments, including the Forest Protection Departments and Customs, learned about the importance of conservation and ways they can have the most impact to support conservation in their field of work.
Participants were shown how they can protect their reputation by implementing corporate social responsibility policies and a code of conduct to integrate zero-tolerance towards the consumption of threatened wildlife. The event was an important element of TRAFFIC’s efforts in Viet Nam to combat illegal wildlife trade through partners like VCCI to engage the private sector.
“Viet Nam is at the heart of the illegal wildlife trade. It is a source, consumer and transit country. The Vietnamese logistic and transport companies play a key role in transport of legally traded goods, but also illegal commodities—often involuntarily, sometimes knowingly. This workshop will give key transport and logistic enterprises in Viet Nam knowledge, resources and support so that they can minimise the reputational risk of being implicated in wildlife crime. The leadership shown in this sector to step up is bound to have a big impact on halting the trafficking of wildlife in countries where law enforcement is weak,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.
Workshop participants received training on the modus operandi of criminals trafficking endangered wildlife. Presentations were made by representatives from the Management Authority of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) concerning national and international wildlife trade regulations. In addition, the Cu Chi Forest Protection Department provided insights into the species being rescued from illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam.
The sharing of each companies' experiences and knowledge on how to identify illegal shipments, and how to provide the means to integrate corporate social responsibility into their policies, provided a strong foundation for this sector to curtail illegal wildlife trade. Through the two-day workshop, a network of connections between enterprises and law enforcement agencies was created, facilitating opportunities for better information exchange that should result in more effective enforcement of wildlife trade by authorities.
“We’re very fortunate that these organizations are taking the time to guide us on the values of wildlife conservation,” said Mr Dinh Huu Thanh from Bee Logistics Corp. “Many companies can make a declaration toward zero-tolerance to wildlife crime with us, but we have the added opportunity of ensuring that illegal trade is reduced in Viet Nam through our work.”
“Logistic and trade organizations are an important line of defence against the illegal trade in wildlife. We must engage these companies to ensure that they have the necessary tools to stop the flow of endangered species to, and within, the country,” said Mr Vuong Tien Manh, Deputy Director of Viet Nam’s CITES Management Authority. “It is necessary and useful that staff from these organizations join law enforcement officials to see the importance of conservation and improve their understanding of wildlife trade issues in Viet Nam.”
The Chi social corporate responsibility toolkit developed by TRAFFIC provides guidance on how to integrate a zero-tolerance approach towards threatened wildlife consumption and combat illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam’s private sector and civil society organizations.
This workshop, a joint venture by TRAFFIC, the Viet Nam CITES Management Authority and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), is an important component of a three-year project, in partnership with WWF and funded by the French Development Agency.
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.