Local authority Capacity building

WCS works with all levels of government agencies to promote an understanding of the illegal wildlife trade. We consider it vitally important to work with law enforcement agencies such as the National Forest Protection Department, the Environmental Police, the Economic Police, the General Department of Vietnam Customs, and the position-related crime investigation police.  

WCS has supported to build capacity for law enforcement (LE) agencies through  training programs, workshops and software to aid them with their investigation, arrest, seizure, prosecution, and conviction process. The training workshop courses for LE agencies aims to equip LE personnel with update and technical knowledge, information, and skills on different topics such as species identification, illegal wildlife trade situation, modus operandi of wildlife criminals, relating laws and regulations, how to effectively handle and prosecute the arrested, and etc. Participants of these workshops range from front line officers such as forest rangers, border army, to police, customs officers, People’s Procuracy, and People’s Court staff.

In recognition of the role of media in the fight against illegal wildlife trade, WCS, in collaboration with the Central Committee for Propaganda and Education (CCPE), provides our insights into the scope of illegal wildlife trafficking to improve media’s capacity in communicating wildlife and wildlife trafficking issues to the public and government agencies, thus contributing to influence actions from the government. We do this through different activities such as holding briefing sessions for media leaders, organizing workshops with media agencies, or training sessions for journalists on the issues.  

Key Work:

Species Identification

  • For many law enforcement agencies, wildlife species identification is a challenge. WCS has launched online and offline platforms in Vietnamese language to help them access species identification information.
  • The website titled www.giamdinhloai.vn  provides pictures of 216 live species and 12 common wildlife products as well as related information which enables local authorities to effectively identify species along the trade routes. It gives authorities the options of sending photographs to WCS experts in order to verify whether their interpretation is correct. In November 2017, WCS Viet Nam has also launched the applications entitled “Giam dinh loai” on Google Play and “WCS – Giam dinh loai” on the App Store, which were developed based on data from the website www.giamdinhloai.vn. The two applications have similar functions with those of the website.
  • WCS Viet Nam has also run species identification training with frontline personnel such as the Forest Protection Department, the Environmental Police, the Economic Police and position-related crime investigation police, the Market Control Department and Customs. This training has focussed on providing a hands-on experience to field officers to provide knowledge which can easily be utilised in their daily activities.

Species identification training with local authorities from Quang Ninh province, November 2013

Intelligence Training

  • WCS has worked closely with the Centre of Criminology Research and Criminal Investigation and Environmental Police Faculty (Police Academy) to provide intelligence training to enable more effective investigations into illegal wildlife crime.
  • The training has focussed on investigation techniques such as gathering intelligence from multiple sources including online and physical. The development of online sales has created an easy platform which has not been well monitored to date. Through implementation of this training, WCS has provided knowledge and support LE officers to monitor online activities relating illegal wildlife trade.

Intensive training on collection, management and analysis of wildlife crime intelligence in Ho Chi Minh City, October 2016

Wildlife crime knowledge

  • WCS Viet Nam has worked to enhance the knowledge of LE authorities of wildlife crime dynamics. Training has been provided to authorities such as the General Department of Customs, the Vietnam Border Defence Force, the National Forest Protection Department, the Environmental Police, the Economic Police and position-related crime investigation police, People’s Court and  People’s Procuracy.
  • The training aims to provide a thorough understanding of wildlife trade dynamics and background knowledge of previous incidences of illegal wildlife trade. The training also introduces local authorities to existing mechanisms and broader agencies for wildlife crime control such as Viet Nam and ASEAN - Wildlife Enforcement Network, CITES, Interpol, etc.. 
  • WCS Viet Nam trained local LE agencies who were part of a major crackdown relating to the smuggling of wildlife products across the border between Vietnam and China. Prior to WCS training, many LE authorities in the province were of the view that there was no illegal trade across the border, however, these trainings have resulted into a certain crackdowns.


Briefing sessions for media leaders

  • WCS, in cooperation with CCPE, the agency that provides orientation and censors of news and content of media at the national-level under the Communist Party to influence media actions to combat rhino horn trafficking, held briefing sessions with different topics relating combating wildlife trafficking for key media leaders in 2015 and 2016. 
  • In December 2015, WCS supported the Department of Journalism and Publishing of the CCPE to organize a briefing session on the topic of “Wildlife Crime Prevention: Actions of the Media” facilitated by Dr. Nguyen Duy Giang – Head of Department for Prosecution and Supervision over Investigation of Economic Cases (Supreme People’s Procuracy). More than 160 representatives including Editors in Chief and Sub-Editors-in-Chief of 101 media agencies and key Ministries including the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ministry of Industry and Trade, National Commission for Administration, Academy of Journalism and Communication, University of Social Sciences and Humanities and others attended the session.  


Workshops and training for journalists
  • In March 2016, WCS and CCPE co-facilitated a workshop on “Actions of media agencies on combating and preventing wildlife crimes in Vietnam”. This workshop provided an updated review on the risks of wildlife trafficking and the government’efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam.
  • In March 2016, WCS cooperated with CCPE to organize a training course for journalists in Da Nang to update on the situation of wildlife trafficking nationally and globally, provide essential investigation guidance as well as practicing writing skills for young journalists who are new to reporting on wildlife crimes. The training also guided them on the methods of approaching relevant government agencies and social organizations to obtain and write more responsible news on the topic of combating wildlife trafficking. There were twenty-two journalists from key media agencies at the national level such as Thanhnien, The Laborer, The Labor, Viet Nam Legislation and from the provincial level including Hai Phong newspapers, Ho Chi Minh Police newspapers, Da Nang newspapers and Ho Chi Minh Legislation.

Building capacity for media in communicating wildlife and wildlife trafficking issues, March 2016

WCS is a key member of the Wildlife Support Network (WSN) working in Viet Nam

  • The Viet Nam Wildlife Support Network consists of representatives of Embassies, International Government Organisations, International Non-Governmental Organisations (such as WCS) and local NGOs which play a role in combating illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam. The network members convene periodically under the rotating chairmanship undertaken by its members to update one another on their current activities.

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