Vietnam and South Africa have signed an action plan to translate into deed their biodiversity conservation commitments in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Hanoi in December 2012.

The plan was inked on May 6 at the talks between Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan and South African Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi in Pretoria , South Africa .

The plan prioritises improving management capacity, biodiversity protection and conservation, and law enforcement in the field in line with each country’s law and international conventions, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Under the plan, which will take effect until 2017, the two sides will promote information exchanges, set up a gene bank, and step up communication campaigns to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation.

Speaking at a press conference after the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister Tuan asserted the Vietnamese Government’s wishes to reinforce comprehensive cooperation with South Africa , particular in biodiversity conservation to prevent the poaching of endangered animals, especially rhinos.

Talking with the Pretoria-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent, Mabudafhasi said she is happy with the signing of the action plan and Vietnamese colleagues’ efforts to realise their commitments in the field.
She expressed her hopes that these efforts will gradually put an end to the poaching of wild animals and the trading of rhino-horns.

During their working visit, Vietnamese officials will make a fact finding tour of national parks where they expect to exchange experience in management and law enforcement in biodiversity conservation with the host country’s experts.-VNA