“The future of tigers depends on our actions” was the message of a seminar held in Hanoi on July 29 to raise public awareness and support for the conservation of a species on the brink of extinction.

The seminar was jointly held by the Vietnam Environment Administration, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWW) and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC) as a response to International Tiger Day.

Despite having been protected by law as stated in Decree No. 32/2006/ND-CP, tigers in Vietnam are still facing the threats of domestic hunting as well as illegal cross-border trade, the seminar reported.

Vietnam is now home to an estimated less than 30 tigers, which are standing on the edge of extinction.

Vietnam proactively participated in the International Tiger Conservation Forum and developed the National Tiger Recovery Programme, aimed at increasing the number of the large cat species by minimising the threats facing them.

According to Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Environment Administration, in an effort to implement the priorities of the national programme, Vietnam continued to build its law enforcement capacity through training courses and investigations of tiger conservation sites.

The country has enhanced transnational collaboration in combating illegal wildlife hunting and trafficking, Dong said, adding that Vietnam had signed memoranda of understanding on the issue with border provinces of Laos and Combodia.

Since 2001, WWF in Vietnam has focused on tiger conservation in the central Truong Son area and built the capacity of legal investigation and inspection enforcement for local officials. The fund also launched a number of campaigns to reduce the consumption of wildlife products in Hanoi and the central province of Thua Thien Hue. /.