The Hanoitimes - An exhibition on illegal wildlife trafficking was held at Hoa Binh Park in Hanoi to raise public awareness of the issue in Vietnam .
It was held jointly by Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) and the Asian Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking Programme under the sponsorship of the US Agency for International Development.
The illegal trafficking of wild animals in Vietnam has been increasing at a worrying rate, threatening many species with extinction and affecting biodiversity and ecosystems.
The exhibition featured a number of interactive activities including videos showing the conditions for wildlife in Vietnam and quizzes and discussions on wildlife farming and traditional medicine, as well as other activities involving protecting the country’s endangered species.
Many young people came to the event where they learned about the plight of endangered species and share their ideas about combating the illegal wildlife trade.
Nguyen Thu Hien, 20, from Vietnam Commercial University said, “I was really shocked to see wild animals being killed for their meat or used to make traditional medicine. That’s not only heartless but also criminal. We need to strengthen law enforcement to fight against wildlife trafficking.”
Le Trung Kien, 22, from Hanoi Open University shared, “I think that if we want to stop the illegal wildlife trade, we should raise awareness and change consumer behaviour regarding wildlife consumption. We should tell people that wild animals are protected by law and trade in the animals or products made from them will be fined or prosecuted.”
The exhibition also encouraged people to join the 3,000 member ‘National Wildlife Protection Volunteer Network’ which allows the public to monitor and report wildlife violations.
ENV is now establishing a public toll-free national hotline at 1800-1522 for people to report crimes against wildlife, said Duong Thi Phuong, EVN's mobile team leader.
Information reported via the hotline will be passed on to the appropriate authorities. EVN will then work closely with law enforcement agencies, tracking each case through to a conclusion and documenting the results on its Wildlife Crime Database.
The display in Hanoi was one of several events being held in major cities across Vietnam this year aiming to raise public awareness about illegal wildlife trafficking.