The Vietnamese Government is willing to enhance cooperation with South Africa and other countries in biodiversity conservation both bilaterally and multilaterally, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the African nation Le Huy Hoang.

He made the remark while joining a Vietnamese inter-sectoral delegation at a working session in Pretoria on May 20 with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and relevant agencies to review their partnership in the field.

Do Quang Tung, Director of the Vietnam Management Authority for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), highlighted Vietnam’s efforts in coordinating with other countries in preventing wildlife trade, including issuing new regulations, amending laws, and launching campaigns to raise public awareness.

He cited a recent survey that after a year-long communication campaign, the number of people believing in the so-called “miraculous” medical power of rhino horns nosedived 60 percent while the rhino horn buyer number plummeted by 77 percent.

Skumsa Mancotywa, Acting Director of the South African department’s Biodiversity and Preservation Branch, spoke highly of the efficiency of the two countries’ multifaceted cooperation, including in biodiversity conservation on which the Governments signed a memorandum of understanding and an action plan.

South Africa valued Vietnam’s serious implementation of related laws and communication activities, she said, adding that her country welcomes Vietnam’s hosting of the International Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in late 2016.

The official also invited the Southeast Asian nation to send a delegation to the World Youth Rhino Summit slated for late June in South Africa.

At the working session, the two sides discussed measures to ensure conservation in the course of development along with ways to bolster cooperation.

The Vietnamese side handed over 14 samples of seized rhino horns to local agencies for DNA analysis.

Before arriving in South Africa, the delegation also made working trips to Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique to share experience and strengthen collaboration in the sphere.-VNA