Vietnam is considered as a transit country and a large market for wildlife consumption in the world, Bui Thi Ha, deputy director of the Education for Nature - Vietnam (EVN) said at a seminar on Tuesday.
The EVN organized a seminar on dealing with wildlife trafficking in Vietnam on Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City, during which delegates conferred about the difficulties and challenges that need to be solved in the fight against and prevention of wildlife crimes.
Wildlife crimes not only damage the country’s biodiversity and increase the risk of spreading infectious diseases, but also seriously affect the global biodiversity, Ha said at the event.
The number of cases related to wildlife trafficking in Vietnam increased from 2,900 in 2020 to 3,703 in 2021, she continued.
In the first quarter of 2022, Vietnamese authorities handled more than 800 cases.
Imposing stern punishment upon violators is particularly important to deter similar offenses in the future.
However, Vietnam is still considered a transit country and a large market for wildlife consumption in the world, Ha said.
The country is struggling to deal with the large volume of wild animals illegally transported through its seaports.
Data from the EVN showed that over 60 metric tons of wild animals have been smuggled via Vietnamese seaports since 2008, but most of the masterminds behind these crimes have yet to be brought to justice.
In order to effectively tackle wildlife trafficking in Vietnam, the EVN proposed that authorities boost the management of conservation facilities as well as establishments that raise wild animals for commercial purposes.
The role of local authorities in handling wildlife violations should be enhanced.
All forms of trafficking endangered, precious, and rare animals must be strictly prohibited, while the fight against wildlife crimes on the Internet must also be strengthened.
Members of illicit rackets that trade wild animals, especially their leaders, must be strictly punished, the EVN underscored.