Only one in every seven wildlife seizures made in Vietnam in the past decade has resulted in convictions, a new report by the U.K.-based Environmental Investigation Agency has found.
Low numbers of arrests and prosecutions highlight problems of weak enforcement and a lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies, the researchers said.
Three-quarters of the shipments originated from African countries, they found, with numerous large-scale seizures indicating transnational organized crime.
With pandemic-related restrictions easing, the worry is that the cross-border wildlife trade will come roaring back even as Vietnam struggles to follow up on investigations into past and current seizures.
Standing on top of a four-wheel drive looking out at a central Kenyan wildlife reserve wearing a bucket hat and walking boots, Trang Nguyen stands apart from most Vietnamese who prefer European charm and East Asian wonders for their holidays and photographic memories.
But Trang is no ordinary traveller.
The 31-year-old founder and executive director of WildAct, a Vietnamese conservation NGO, travels the world as a wildlife conservation scientist.
By AFP March 24, 2021 | 11:09 am GMT+7 VNExpressTrang Nguyen has spent much of her life trying to end the illegal wildlife trade. Photo by AFP/Nhac Nguyen.As a small girl, Trang Nguyen saw a bear stabbed through the chest with a giant needle at her neighbor’s house in northern Vietnam.
The bear, flat on its back, was being pumped for its bile, a fluid drawn from its gallbladder that has long been used in traditional medicine to treat liver disease.
“I had seen visitors to Hanoi zoo who brought sticks to poke animals and it really made my blood boil,” Trang, the founder of local conservation group WildAct, told AFP.
“But conservation wasn’t something I really wanted to do until I witnessed what happened to this bear.”
It was the first of her many encounters with a global multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade that devastates species the world over, fuels corruption and threatens human health.
12 Jan 2021 11:50AM(Updated: 12 Jan 2021 11:58AM) CNA
KUALA LUMPUR: Masks that helped save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic are proving a deadly hazard for wildlife, with birds and marine creatures ensnared in the staggering number of discarded facial coverings littering animal habitats.
Over two surveys conducted between November 2016 and June 2017, TRAFFIC’s researchers found more than 10,000 ivory items being offered on sale across 852 physical outlets and 17 online platforms, suggesting an ivory market that has continued to thrive over the past few decades.
Physical retail stores in Ho Chi Minh City and Buon Ma Thuot had the highest number of ivory items for sale, the surveys found, but two villages, Ban Don and Lak, had a disproportionately high number of items on sale compared to the number of stores. Among the online platforms, social media sites had the highest number of posts offering ivory for sale.
These are Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) in an undisclosed protected area in South Africa.
Credit: Enrico Di Minin
Illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity conservation and is currently expanding to social media. This is a worrisome trend, given the ease of access and popularity of social media. Efficient monitoring of illegal wildlife trade on social media is therefore crucial for conserving biodiversity.
Sciencedaily – Southeast Asia is a widely recognised centre of illegal wildlife trade — both as the source region for species ranging from seahorses to tigers, and as a global consumer of ivory carvings, wild pets, and traditional Chinese medicinal products.
While there are mounting efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trade, including within Singapore to reduce demand for wildlife products, the illegal trade in some species still remains undocumented.
Associate Professor Edward L. Webb, from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and NUS PhD graduate Dr Jacob Phelps, have uncovered a previously little recognised Southeast Asian wildlife trade — the illegal sale of wild-collected ornamental plants, especially orchids.
Their findings were recently published in the journal Biological Conservation in June 2015.