British and Vietnamese specialists from government and law enforcement agencies will meet in Hanoi to discuss practical measures for combating the illegal wildlife trade.
A conference in Hanoi on 7-8 September will see representatives of the UK Border Force, British Airways, and Heathrow Airport sharing experience with senior officials from the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Customs of Vietnam. Representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines, the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam and the High Command of Border Guard will also attend the conference.
The aim is to build capacity and discuss practical solutions for tackling the illegal trafficking of wildlife domestically and internationally. The conference will consider issues such as collaboration between law enforecement officials, airports and airlines; training requirements; the role of local authorities; and care of seized animals and animal products.
The illegal wildlife trade is an urgent global problem. The trade threatens Vietnam’s own rich biodiversity, while illegal trafficking of products such as elephant ivory and rhino horn through Vietnam is contributing to the dramatic decline of iconic species. Vietnam has shown a welcome commitment to stronger enforcement measures. But more needs to be done by all source, destination and transit countries, as well as by international donors, to identify and close down the criminal networks behind the trade.
This conference builds on strong existing cooperation between the UK and Vietnam on wildlife crime, following Vietnam’s successful hosting, with UK support, of the high-level Hanoi Conference in November 2016. The two countries will continue to work closely together in preparation for the London IWT conference scheduled for late 2018, in line with the our shared commitment under the 2010 Strategic Partnership to cooperate in tackling global problems.
Speaking ahead of the conference, British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever said “This conference reflects the fact that combating the illegal wildlife trade is a growing priority for both the UK and Vietnam. The range of government departments and agencies taking part demonstrates the importance of joined-up action domestically and also cross-border cooperation. Winning the battle to protect endangered wildlife is possible but will require increased political will, enhanced law enforcement capacity and action, and greater awareness and action by the public. Vietnam has a vital role to play, and UK-Vietnam collaboration can help with finding and implementing the necessary solutions”.