- WCS Viet Nam holds events with high-level Government members to promote awareness of illegal wildlife trade issues with an aim to build capacity and raise awareness amongst government officials who have the power to influence illegal wildlife trade policy.
- In March 2017, WCS organized a workshop and field visit for 45 Viet Nam National Assembly members. The workshops focused on providing information to the National Assembly members regarding the causes, impacts of illegal wildlife trade and the efforts already in place to resolve this issue. The National Assembly is Viet Nam’s legislative body, providing its members additional information can allow the ones at the highest level to improve Government policy and oversight.
- WCS also circulates news reports to government officials to ensure they are aware of ongoing instances of illegal wildlife trafficking.
Improve favorable legal environment
WCS also works with the Vietnamese Government such as Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resouces and Environment and National Assembly Legal Committee to review, interpret and provide feedback on legislation relating to the wildlife conservation and combatting illicit wildlife trade. Some examples can be listed as the Penal Code revised in 2015 and 2017, Decree 40/2015/ND-CP, Decree 160/2013/ND-CP, etc. We believe that performing this work alongside strengthening law enforcement capacity will result in an increased proportion of wildlife-related crime prosecutions. This, in turn, will lead to a higher risk trade and make participating in it a less appealing option for many people.
Support the biggest network on combating wildlife trafficking
Viet Nam Wildlife Enforcement Network (VN WEN) is consisted of 13 government agencies from some key Ministries such as CITES Managenement Authority (MA) Viet Nam and the Forest Protection Department (FPD) under the Administration of Forestry - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) under the Environment Administration - Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MONRE), Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department under the General Department of Viet Nam Customs - Ministry of Finance (MoF), Environmental Police Department under the General Department of Police - Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Supreme People’s Procuracy (SPP) and Supreme People’s Court (SPC). Of which, CITES MA Viet Nam plays the standing role to coordinate the operation of the network.
In the last five years, WCS has stood along with the body, assisting them to review and develop annual operational plans, undertaking field trips to hotspot sites and jointly enhancing better enforcement in wildlife protection. It was WCS who proposed to include the SPP and SPC into the consortium to improve crime prosecution results. Through CITES MA Viet Nam, WCS also brings VN-WEN representatives to bilateral, trilateral meeting or training, with their counterparts in neighboring countries like China, Cambodia, and Laos and further with Indonesia, posing ways for mutual understanding and cooperative relationship in combating wildlife crimes.
Specifically, CITES MA Viet Nam received additional assistance from WCS to attend regional and international related events, sharing and learning experiences in enforcing the CITES and wildlife national legislation in the country. CITES MA Viet Nam was assessed to be more active in getting attention from the government and VN-WEN members to make commitments and take actions against wildlife trafficking in the last few years.
Engage the power of mass media
Mass media and journalists make an essential contribution to the course of fighting against wildlife crimes. WCS cooperates with the Central Committee on Propaganda and Education (CCPE), who oversights the operation of media agencies under the direction of the Viet Nam Communist Party, to draw the attention of Editors-in-chief and their reporters to the issue. Seminars, trainings and briefings are specifically designed and organized for those special audiences to encourage them to raise their voice, digging into the trade network and aid government agencies to disclose the crimes.
For nearly 10 years of operation in Viet Nam, WCS has developed, expanded and maintained its own network of journalists active in environment and wildlife protection, feeding them with daily news and information so that they are backed up to develop and spread useful and professional writings to the public and the government.