News Brief (E389, October 29, 2010)

Top News

Nghe An: Wildlife seized in illegal trade transferred to scientific research institute.
On October 28, provincial Environmental Police successfully transferred frozen wildlife to the Vietnam Museum of Nature, a scientific research institute, to legally house the exhibits. The wildlife had been seized from a local residence and included many rare wild animals from Group IB – the group of animals forbidden to be exploited and used for commercial purposes. The decision by Nghe An police to transfer the exhibits to such an institute is very welcome and is not only a suitable solution from a conservation perspective by preventing wildlife from returning to the black market, but also setting a good precedent for future cases.
(WCU ref. Case 2565)
Reported news:
Nghe An Police set a good example in dealing with confiscated wildlife

Quang Ngai: Dung Quat oil refinery responsible for air pollution
Local residents and workers living in the area of the South Dung Quat Oil Refinery have been suffering recently from shortness of breath and some have even fainted from the high concentration of sulfur dioxide in the air. According to statistics from the Environmental Monitoring Technical Centre in the Dung Quat Economic Zone, the levels in three locations near the refinery are 125% higher than the prescribed level. The pollution is also negatively impacting the environment.
(Vietnamese version)
Nha may loc dau Dung Quat gay o nhiem moi truong

Quang Nam: Arbitrary deforestation conducted by gold company
On October 26, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Forest Protection Department (FPD) and Environmental Police from Quang Nam province discovered that Phuoc Son Gold Ltd had cleared natural forest area to construct a road without the permission of local authorities. The road cuts through natural forest and trees have been severely damaged on either side. According to the head of  local FPD, the deforestation has been completely arbitrary.
(Vietnamese version)
Ngang nhien tan pha rung tu nhien

Binh Thuan: Box of ivory found off the coast
On October 22, border guards from the central province of Binh Thuan confiscated 95 kilograms of elephant tusks from  a local who found them while diving. The man confessed to discovering a wooden box containing the tusks lying about 15 meters underwater with his team of divers. The divers were 15 kilometers from the coast but they did not inform the authorities about their haul, intending to keep the ivory for themselves .
(English version)
95 kilograms of ivory found off coast of central Vietnam

Binh Phuoc: More to be done to protect rare species of gibbon at Bu Gia Map National Park
A study into projects being run at the Bu Gia Map National Park (NP) has found many areas for improvement to help conserve the rare species. The projects are assessing the current state of the black golden cheeked gibbon’s (Hylobates gabriellae) population at the NP, building the capacity for the park’s staff, and conducting awareness raising activities amongst residents living around the NP. According to the study, in April 2010, there were only 124 groups of gibbons left compared with 176 groups with 400 individuals in November 2009. This significant reduction in numbers can be blamed on shrinking habitats due to the illegal exploitation of forests.
(Vietnamese version)
Bao ton loai vuon den ma vang tai VQG Bu Gia Map

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Phan Thi Thuy Trinh
Communications officer
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
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