Joint efforts called for to protect last wild elephants in Vietnam

Located in the wetlands of the Plain of Reeds in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Đồng Tháp, Tràm Chim National Park is known for its spectacular diversity of bird species, attracting bird-watchers year-round. Conservation efforts: Grey Heron can be found year-round in Tràm Chim National Park. - VNS Photo Nguyễn Tiến Lễ Local farmers named the park Tràm Chim due to the great number of cajeput (tràm) trees and birds (chim). The 7,300ha park, flooded for half a year and dry for the other half, is home to more than 100 vertebrate species, 40 species of fish, and 213 species of water birds, including 16 rare birds like the Sarus crane, the greater adjutant, black-headed ibis, darter, and little egret. Nguyễn Thế Hạnh, vice director of the national park, said that thousands of Asian openbill storks, which were given priority for preservation, have flocked to the park. The park has a good environment for birds, containing a level of water conducive to the development of flora and aquatic creatures. Thanks to its diversity of bird species, the park holds bird-watching tours, attracting a great number of visitors. The number of visitors exceeded 60,000 in 2014, a five-fold increase compared to 2012, when it was recognised as Việt Nam’s fourth site under the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance. In the first half of the year, the park welcomed…... [read more]

The celebration is held annually by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam, Biodiversity Conservation Agency, and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, TRAFFIC. Over the years, Vietnam has exerted significant efforts in tiger conservation by banning tiger hunting and putting the animal on the list of endangered species in need of protection. However, hunting, illegal trade and illicit transport of this iconic animal are becoming prevalent due to the huge potential for economic profit. According to the 2010 Report from Education for Nature-Vietnam, the country is on the verge of tiger extinction. It is estimated that only 3,200 wild tigers survive worldwide, their population having decreased by about 95 percent and their range by 93 percent since 1900. This steep decline is mainly due to heavy poaching and the illegal trade in tiger paraphernalia to supply a thriving black market demand. As well as this, loss of habitat due to deforestation and an increase in the number of animals preying on tigers have also led to their decline. Vietnam is a significant market for tiger products, as illegal medicines made from tiger bone and tiger wines have become popular, especially among the wealthy, because of their supposed remedial powers. The demand for tiger parts in Vietnam has led to animals being smuggled in from elsewhere in the region. In March and June of last year, three tigers sourced from Laos were seized in Vietnam, believed to be intended for further domestic distribution. The country is also a transit point for a…... [read more]

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam, there are only 3,200 wild tigers surviving in the world today, therefore the target is to increase that figure to 6,400 by 2022. The decline in the wild tiger population is primarily due to heavy poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts, as well as the loss of habitat and animals for tigers to prey on. Vietnam is a “hot” market for tiger products, as illegal medicines made from tiger bones and tiger wines have become very popular, especially among the wealthy and senior officials, because of their supposed medicinal powers. The Environmental Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security, says Vietnam has only 95 surviving tigers which are caged in farms, zoos and circuses. Hunting, illegal trading and illicit transportation of the animal are prevalent due to the potential for huge economic profit. Three tigers sourced from Laos were seized in Vietnam between March and June last year. Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, Deputy Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Agency under the Vietnam Environment Administration, said, “It is high time to take action for tiger conservation. Conserving tigers and their habitat is conserving our biodiversity and ecosystem, thus contributing to environmental protection and sustainable development.” On July 29, Vietnam celebrated the second annual Global Tiger Day with a number of events to raise public awareness, gain support for tiger conservation and call for an end to the illegal tiger trade. At the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in November 2010, heads of…... [read more]

The event was organised by the Vietnam 350 Club, sponsored by the British Council in Vietnam, the Green Generation Network and the Living and Learning Centre for Environment and Community. It attracted young people and environmental activitists. Hoang Duc Minh, a member of Vietnam 350 Club, emphasized that the event responds to Earth Hour 2012, which provides an opportunity for young people to join hands and take action to combat climate change for a cleaner environment for the next generation. Earth Hour is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that began in 2007, aiming to call on individuals, businesses and governments to turn off lights for one hour to demonstrate their interest in fighting climate change and promoting sustainability for a better environment. Last year, 128 nations around the world volunteered to become involved in the programme. This year, Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 31, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.... [read more]

They said at a recent workshop held in the northern province of Vinh Phuc that the ratification will help Vietnam better protect and exploit its rivers. The workshop was co-organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Department of Water Resources Management, as well as the World Wildlife Fund and International Union for Conservation of Nature. Head of the Department Hoang Van Bay noted that Vietnam is located in the lower reaches of many large trans-boundary rivers. Thus, ratifying the treaty was expected to offer Vietnam opportunities to negotiate with other countries on how to use trans-boundary water resources effectively, Bay said. Explaining why Vietnam had yet to join the convention, Bay noted that it is a global convention, providing a set of regulations to use and maintain trans-boundary water resources, with regulations that include many sensitive and political issues. "So, it takes time for Vietnam to carefully consider and create a comprehensive assessment of how the convention would impact the nation's politics, economy, and society before ratifying it," he said. If the Government approves a proposal to ratify the convention in 2014, Vietnam will become the first country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to endorse it, he added. Vietnam's signing is hoped to be a precedent, in order to call upon other countries to join the convention, he added. To become a member of the convention, Vietnam will also be able to demand that other countries sharing the same water resources with Vietnam join together…... [read more]

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan made the statement at the launch of the Stop Using Rhino Horn campaign in Hanoi on March 3. Speakers at the event talked about the importance of protecting wildlife and stated a record 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year. Elisabeth McLellan, co-director of the World Wildlife Fund International’s Global Wildlife Trade Campaign touched upon the Prime Minister’s directive issued in February urging all ministries and authorities at all levels to maximize efforts to fight the illegal wildlife trade. The event was co-organized by the WildAid organisation, the Centre for Environment Training and Communication, CHANGE-a Vietnamese non-governmental organization.... [read more]

The forum attracted 40 outstanding young people selected from 400 profiles nationwide, who shared actions pertaining to the environment and community. Themed “Be Active Citizens”, it focuses discussions on climate change and natural disasters, energy, green economy, bio-diversification, the poor and those who are vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Young citizens will realise challenges facing Vietnam to build initiatives towards a sustainable future. At the opening ceremony, Director of the British Council in Vietnam Chris Brown said that Vietnam is entering a “golden population structure” period with nearly 50% belonging to age groups from 0-14 and over 65. As a result, the forum has a direct impact on participants who will be ambassadors on environment and sustainable development with specific actions. The Vietnam Youth and Sustainable Development Summit (VYS) 2014 - a follow-up activity in the program “Be Active Citizens” launched by the British Council in 2009 which has carried out successfully in 38 countries with the participation of more than 530,000 young people, positively impacting 15 million people. The Center of Environmental Training and Communications (CETAC) Director Tran Phong under the Environment Department said sustainable development is highlighted in the country’s socio-economic development plans and strategies. The event will provide a good chance for youth to meet and propose initiatives and solutions for environmental protection, ecology, energy saving and sustainable development. The forum running until July 2 was held by Live& Learn, the British Council, the European Commission - Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), the World…... [read more]

Dr Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the institute’s International Cooperation Department, added that new technologies are expected to make wind and solar energy and bio-fuel more cost-competitive compared to fossil fuel. He also pointed out that the lack of support policies and incentives as well as difficulties in accessing capital are among other obstacles. Deputy Director of Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) Tran Dinh Sinh said the workshop is to introduce forecast of Vietnam’s energy demand between 2015 and 2030, the potential of efficient use of energy, and existing obstacles to the development of alternative energy and energy saving in the country. Hosted by Green ID, the event formed part of activities by the World Wildlife Fund in its initiative to promote sustainable energy development in Vietnam.... [read more]

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) quoted his article saying the world’s tra fish output has increased by 10 fold since 2002 to reach 1.5 million tonnes and this is mainly due to the expansion of production in Vietnam. However, the SFP pointed out some shortcomings in the management and control of the water and food used in fish breeding. According to Johnson, unlike many other organisations, the SFP does not encourage businesses to stop breeding tra fish as the problems do not relate to food hygiene but environmental protection. After putting Vietnam in its red list, the World Wildlife Fund also noted that this is only related to management issues. He asked whether the recent criticism by some organisations aimed to confuse customers on the hygiene of tra fish and was part of the large campaign to cut down the Vietnamese share of tra fish in the US market. His article revealed that last year, tra fish were in the top 10 of the most consumed aquatic products in the market chosen by the US Fish and Wildlife Services. This is a proof of for the popularity of this spices. Over the past 3 years, the SFP has join in the argument over Vietnamese tra fish, starting with the cooperation with Can Tho University to test the water quality. The SPF is currently carrying out an aquatic resources development and quality improvement project (AIP) in Vietnam, which works with both domestic producers and major customers from…... [read more]

This is part of the EUR7 million German-funded project being implemented by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Greater Mekong in three conservation areas in Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue and XeSap National Conservation Park. The seminar aims to reduce losses in exploiting and transporting wood products and prevent deforestation in the border areas between Laos’ southern region and Vietnam’s central region. Delegates shared experience in managing conservation areas as well as cooperating in preserving biodiversity of forests between the two countries. They agreed on a trans-national action plan to improve the management of conservation areas, control the smuggling of wood products across the border and prevent deforestation in the two countries.... [read more]

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