Vietnamese media focus on wildlife trafficking
Mong Cai (Viet Nam), 22 March 2010 - At the border between China and Viet Nam, 35 Vietnamese media representatives, including reporters and cameramen, spent two days (18 and 19 March 2010) learning about the consequences of illicit wildlife trade and its linkages to corruption.
The media workshop organized by the
Wildlife Conservation Society, in cooperation with
PAN Nature and
TRAFFIC, was meant to stimulate the interest of journalists in the traffic of wild flora and fauna and to help them understand the causes and consequences of such crime.
According to several reports by international institutes and non-governmental organizations, the extent of the illicit wildlife trade is global, fuelled by the prospect of high profits and low risks of punishment for criminal organizations. While the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna is meeting in Doha from 13 to 25 March 2010 to discuss new measures to strengthen international cooperation to curb this illicit trade, the response of criminal justice systems at the national level remains constrained by a lack of resources among law enforcement agencies and poor awareness in society at large.
In this context, Viet Nam has become a significant gateway in the trade of wildlife, as a country of destination and - most prominently - of transit of plants and animals transported illegally to China, the largest market for wildlife in Asia.
Through contributions by representatives from the Provincial Environmental Police, Vietnamese anti-corruption institutions, the Customs Investigation Unit and UNODC, participants learned about the main challenges to building an effective response against wildlife trafficking and about the role of the media in developing effective awareness-raising campaigns.
"Wildlife crime is facilitated by rampant corruption" said Giovanni Broussard of UNODC, "By ensuring unbiased and competent coverage of corruption cases, the media can significantly help to prevent the further growth of wildlife trafficking".
The workshop ended with a field visit to the border separating China and Viet Nam, where media representatives filmed some of the main crossings facilitating the illicit trade of wildlife in Asia. As an indication of the kind of wildlife trafficking occuring in this area, a seizure of 100 Kgs of ivory has been reported the day after the workshop [
Read more ].