News Brief (E317, 5 June, 2009)
Smuggled elephant tusks: Six Tanzanian officials arrested
Six Tanzanian customs department officials have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a network responsible for the smuggling of large numbers of elephant tusks through the Dar es Salaam port to Dinh Vu port in Hai Phong province of Vietnam on March 3rd, 2009.
Quang Ngai: Sea turtles confiscated
On June 1st, 2009 Cung Dinh Tourism and Commerce Limited Company was found to have been illegally keeping two Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate). The case is being investigated for more information.
Dong Nai: Confiscated wildlife released to the wild
On May 31st, 2009, twelve wild animals including three common rat snakes (Ptyas mucosus), eight water monitors (Varanus salvator) and a civet (Civet Sp.) were released back to the wild after being seized by Forest Protection Bureau from Xuan Loc District in an illegal wildlife transportation case.
Phu Yen: Man sentenced to seven years in prison due to deforestation
The Phu Yen Provincial People’s Court recently sentenced a man from Ea Cha Rang commune to seven years imprisonment for destroying large areas of forest for agricultural use.
World Environment Day 2009
The 5th of June marks World Environment Day (WED), which was established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment. The host country for this year is Mexico and the 2009 theme is ‘Your planet needs YOU! Unite to combat climate change’. In Vietnam, Hai Phong has been chosen to conduct this important environment event.
Da Nang: Macaques turned over to authorities
A pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonine) that was being illegally kept at Ba Na resort and three stump-tailed macaques (Macaca arctoides) that were at Tien Sa resort have been turned over to forest rangers after the cases were initially reported to ENV’s Wildlife Crime Hotline by a foreigner working in Da Nang. Of these confiscated macaques, the three stump-tailed macaques have been transferred to Son Tra Peninsula.
The Korean bear tourism issue heats up
Korean tourists are still visiting bear farms in Quang Ninh according to the results of surveillance in May. A total of 24 buses visited four farms over a three-day period accounting for some 400 tourists, most of which were Korean nationals. The tourists witness bile extraction and taste bear bile wine before being offered to buy bear products. The selling and consumption of bear bile and products is illegal under Vietnamese law. Some of the tourists then smuggle the bear bile and bear products out of the country when they return to Korea in violation of CITES regulations.
Last weekend, a prominent National Assembly member visited four of the Quang Ninh bear farms along with ENV investigators, Environmental Police, and VTV1. A news segment aired on the issue, questioning the presence of illegal bear farms operating just down the road from Vietnam's premier World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay.
Bird exhibition in Hanoi
A photo exhibition featuring rare birds living in Vietnam’s national park is on display at Gallery 29 Hang Bai, until the 7th of June, 2009. The exhibition, which is a joint initiative of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific (AFAP), is being held to celebrate World Environment Day 2009 and ten years of cooperation between Vietnam and Australia on environmental protection.
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Nguyen Thi My Dung
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)