Vietnam pledges to support the global effort to protect wildlife for the balance of the ecosystem on earth, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan said at the launch of the Stop Using Rhino Horn campaign in Hanoi on March 3.

The drive is co-organised by the WildAid organisation, the Centre for Environment Training and Communication, and the Vietnamese non-governmental organisation CHANGE.

Reports at the event recalled that the last Javan rhinocerous in Vietnam was shot dead for its horn in 2011. Meanwhile, in 2013, a record 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa.

Speaking on the occasion, Elisabeth McLellan, co-director of the World Wildlife Fund International’s Global Wildlife Trade Campaign mentioned Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s directive issued in February ordering all ministries and authorities at all levels to enhance efforts to fight the illegal wildlife trade. She described the directive as a turning point in the fight.-VNA