Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai hosted a reception in Hanoi on May 28 for John E. Scanlon, Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Hai spoke highly of CITES’ support for Vietnam over the past two decades, saying that the country has responsibly enforced regional and international agreements on protecting wild plants and animals.

Vietnam has also boosted the fight against cross-border smuggling of wild species, while bettering legal protection for wildlife and increasing public awareness of this issue, he stated.

Scanlon affirmed that CITES will continue to facilitate Vietnam’s wildlife conservation, thus helping it effectively implement the convention.

He also proposed strengthening cooperation in the legal trading of several animals in order to raise benefits for local people.

Illegal trading of wild species is estimated to bring smugglers 10-15 billion USD each year. It causes a negative impact on natural resources and increases the risk of spreading infectious diseases.

CITES now counts 180 countries as members. Vietnam became its 121 st member in April 1994.-VNA