Transport companies pledge to become champions for wildlife
Hanoi, Viet Nam, 16th September 2016—100 master trainers, transport company managers and drivers have all pledged to become champions for wildlife protection by promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) and adopting zero-tolerance towards the consumption of threatened species, in particular rhino horn.
The pledges were made following a training session on integrating wildlife protection policies into the transportation sector organized by TRAFFIC in collaboration with the Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Administration (VATA).
The training provided information about current legal frameworks to prevent wildlife crime in Viet Nam and also how to promote wildlife protection through CSR activities in the business sector, with a number of companies sharing their experiences on how to carry this out successfully.
TRAFFIC and VATA worked closely together to develop the relevant and practical training curriculum, which built upon VATA’s standard curriculum for coaching managers of transport units and drivers within the VATA network, by including additional content on the impact of wildlife crime on wildlife protection.
Dr Nguyen Van Thanh, Chairman of VATA said, “VATA is pleased to work with TRAFFIC to protect threatened wildlife. We are giving participants the tools to integrate a zero-tolerance of wildlife crime into their CSR policies and help stop the illegal trade. By joining VATA and TRAFFIC to protect local and global wildlife, these companies are making smart business choices. The impact of this training will have a ripple effect in the transport sector, reducing the occupational risks of these businesses while reducing wildlife crime as a whole.”
The illegal trade of wildlife is the fourth largest illegal global trade—after narcotics, counterfeiting, and human trafficking. Today, the scope and sophistication of wildlife crime continues to grow, leaving transportation companies at risk of becoming a part of the criminal trade chain. These enterprises have the power to stem the flow of illegally traded wildlife in Viet Nam, and TRAFFIC is working with VATA to give them the knowledge and skills to reduce wildlife crime.
TRAFFIC’s partnerships with civil society organizations such as VATA are an important component in a strategy to reduce the demand for threatened wildlife products through providing training to the businesses community and encouraging all actors within it to join the fight against wildlife crime.
“The partnerships that we have developed with civil society organizations such as VATA have been hugely beneficial—with their help, we can reach businesses to raise awareness about how seriousness illegal wildlife trade has become and find ways actively to combat wildlife crime. These training sessions help biodiversity in Viet Nam and other regions of the world while protecting businesses that are vulnerable to infiltration by the criminal supply chain,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.
Following the training, some of the newly trained “ambassadors” have already committed to displaying behaviour change messaging in their offices, business locations and at events where they participate. Others have said they will give clear guidance and instructions to their staff through their company code of conduct not to consume threatened wildlife.
The initiative to reduce demand for illegally traded wildlife in Viet Nam is funded by the French Development Agency.
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.