Drastic actions for combating illegal wildlife trading recommended hinh anh 1Good management needed for establishments keeping rare and endangered wildlife not for commercial purposes (Photo provided by ENV)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Strictly punishing kingpins of illegal wildlife trafficking rings and eliminating corruptions are two out of 10 urgent actions recommended to curb wildlife crime and prevent the extinction of wildlife.

The Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) has proposed ten critical actions for combating illegal wildlife trafficking, a list of key interventions that ENV considers priorities in tackling the wildlife trade in Vietnam.

The release of the list of actions followed the issuance of Directive No.29/CT-TTg by the Prime Minister on urgent solutions for ending wildlife trade and reducing the threat to human health and safety associated with the trade and consumption of wildlife.

Eradicating corruption, strictly punishing violations

At the top of the list is the need to initiate aggressive police investigations that target the leadership of wildlife trafficking networks, with the aim of arresting and prosecuting the leaders of these criminal enterprises and dismantling their operations permanently.

In addition to taking down wildlife trafficking kingpins, other critical interventions include strengthening deterrence to reduce crime, addressing abuse within the commercial wildlife farming industry, eradicating corruption within the criminal justice system, and putting an end to bear farming.

Law enforcement agencies, authorities in border areas are required to refuse material temptations to prevent criminals from smuggling illegal goods via border gates.

Meanwhile, prosecutors and judges across the country are requested to have zero tolerance and interest in wildlife-related cases.

The fourth action aims to reduce the risk of future pandemics associated with wildlife consumption and trade through raising public awareness of the link between wildlife and recent diseases.

The fifth is to implement a clear ban on any form of commercial trade of endangered species. Accordingly, State management agencies should clearly stipulate the prohibition of raising and trading endangered and rare wild animals such as tigers and bears, and widely popularize this message to stakeholders.

The sixth action targets strengthening management facilities raising rare and endangered wildlife for conservation and other non-commercial purposes.

The seventh aims to end bear farming in Vietnam. Accordingly, People’s Committees and relevant agencies in Hanoi in general and in Phuc Tho district in particular, need to take measures to stop bear farming, which has been happening for a long time in the capital.

Meanwhile, the eighth action focuses on strictly regulating and managing commercial wildlife farms via building clear rules for the effective management of wildlife farms for commercial purpose.

The ninth and tenth actions are to hold local authorities responsible for eradicating wildlife crimes in their jurisdictions, and pull the plug on wildlife crime on the internet.

Local authorities are required to be responsible for ensuring that businesses and local people comply with laws on wildlife protection.

Drastic actions for combating illegal wildlife trading recommended hinh anh 2Illegal wildlife trading at Thanh Hoa agricultural market in the Mekong Delta province of Long An (Photo: VietnamPlus).

Efforts exerted to put an end to illegal wildlife trafficking

Tackling corruption within the criminal justice system remains one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in the battle to combat wildlife trafficking in Vietnam, said Vu Thi Quyen, ENV’s Founder and Executive Director.

Whether corruption involves passage of goods through ports or airports, licensing the establishment of commercial wildlife farms as a “cover” for smuggling wild animals from the nature, or allowing criminals to escape capture, prosecution, or imprisonment, corruption undermines the law and the health of society, she stressed.

In addition to eliminating corruption, one of the new critical actions in 2020 is addressing the serious human health and safety risks posed by animal-borne viruses such as the COVID-19, she noted.

In order to reduce the risk of the future outbreak of a similar pandemic in the future, ENV goes on to urge policy-makers, relevant ministries and sectors, local authorities to share the responsibility of increasing public awareness about the deadly effects of wildlife trade and consumption, as well as reinforcing national efforts to curb consumption demand of wild animals.

“Looking at how the criminal justice system has applied the revised Penal Code in handling wildlife-related crimes, I believe that we will realise the set target”, Quyen stressed.

She expressed her belief that success in the fight against illegal wildlife trade will be within reach if Vietnam continues its efforts and determination to seriously undertake these ten critical actions./.