VietNamNet Bridge – Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV), Vietnam’s first NGO focused on the conservation of nature and environmental protection, launched a short film on August 18 to increase awareness of the illegal consumption of endangered species and their products in Vietnam.
Entitled ‘Take action to stop illegal wildlife trade and consumption before it is too late’, the film aims to urge the community to work together to protect wildlife in danger of extinction.
In the short film, a girl accidentally strays into a restaurant where wildlife is being served to customers. When witnessing endangered species being consumed by patrons of the restaurant, she shouts, “Stop!”
Through presenting the views of Vietnamese youth about rampant wildlife consumption, the film illustrates how illegal wildlife trade threatens the country’s future and calls upon viewers to act by not consuming endangered wildlife and reporting wildlife crimes to relevant authorities or ENV’s wildlife crime hotline on 1-800-1522.
Deputy Director of ENV Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung said that while Vietnam is among the most biologically diverse countries in the world, it is also a hotspot for illegal wildlife trade and consumption. To stop illegal wildlife consumption is not only the responsibility of the State but also the obligation of every citizen, she added.
Results from a recent consumer wildlife crime survey conducted by ENV in six major cities across Vietnam – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Vinh (Nghe An), Hue and Dong Ha (Quang Tri) – has recorded 651 out of 3,743 surveyed restaurants showing signs of violation of wildlife protection laws (17%).
Data from the National Forest Protection Department also shows that 598 endangered animals were the subject of violations of wildlife protection regulations in 2014. However, experts believe that the figure reflects only a small fraction of the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam each year. The boom in economic development over the past decade has entailed demand for wildlife products, leading to a surge in illegal wildlife trade.
It is time for the community to join hands to fight against illegal wildlife trafficking and consumption. The battle cannot be won without the active participation of the whole community to ensure that wildlife species will not follow the extinction of rhinos in Vietnam, Dung stressed.
According to ENV, the film will be broadcast on 60 national and provincial TV channels across Vietnam in the coming months.
Viewers can also find the clip online at https://youtu.be/H3SvxHvJx40.