News Brief (E396, December 17, 2010)

Top News

Quang Ninh: Illegal bear tourism - flagrant disregard of the law
A recent investigation by a Korean TV station and surveillance by ENV investigators revealed that Ha Long bear farmers continue to engage in illegal exploitation and trade of bear bile, targeting Korean tour groups. This activity shows that bear bile business owners in Quang Ninh demonstrate no respect for the law, further undermining efforts by relevant authorities in dealing with illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam.

In October 2009, Environmental Police (EP) raided the Viet Thai Tourism bear farm and caught the Korean managers preparing to extract bile from a captive bear for a group of Korean tourists. Authorities later confiscated a total of six bears from two Quang Ninh businessmen and issued administrative punishment to the Viet Thai Company. However, these actions appear to have failed to deter bear bile business owners from further violations of the law. 

ENV hope that provincial authorities supported by relevant ministries step in and close this illegal form of business once and for all.

ENV and other members of the Vietnam Bear Task Force have been working with key decision-makers to strengthen policy and laws relating to the protection of bears, cooperating with law enforcement agencies to strengthen enforcement, and raising public awareness to reduce demand and consumption of bear bile and other bear products.

Thai Binh: Black-faced spoonbill rescued from restaurant
On December 14, an endangered black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) was released back into the wild. Officers from local authorities had rescued the animal from a restaurant.
(Vietnamese version)
Giai cuu ca the co mo thia

WWF agree to remove Vietnam’s tra fish from 'red list'
On December 15, after discussions with the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, a representative from the International Global Seafood section of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) agreed to remove the tra fish (pangasius) from its consumer red list. In the 2010-2011 guidance manual for seafood consumers, WWF offices in six European countries upgraded Vietnam’s tra fish from YELLOW - “Think twice” to the RED - “Don’t buy” list, because fish farms in Vietnam have polluted the environment. Yet according to the General Fisheries Department of Vietnam, the WWF’s 19 criteria were unconvincing, often lacking evidence.
(English news)
WWF Vietnam calls for tra fish to be removed from ‘red list’

Khanh Hoa: Prison time for killing black-shanked douc langurs
In early December, the Van Ninh District Court in Khanh Hoa province handed down prison sentences ranging from 27 months to 33 months to a group of hunters who were caught transporting seven black-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nigripes) in July this year. The bodies of the langurs were transferred to the Vietnam National Museum of Nature shortly after being confiscated.

Khanh Hoa: Establishment of conservation area for black-shanked douc langur
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sent an official agreement letter allowing Khanh Hoa province to establish a conservation area for the black-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nigripes) in Hon Heo. According to a 2007 survey conducted by the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute and the Frankfurt Animal Group, about 110 black-shanked douc langurs live in the Hon Heo Forest where they are still illegally hunted.
(Vietnamese version)
Lap khu bao ton vooc cha va chan den o Hon Heo

Hanoi: ‘Insects of Vietnam’ photographic exhibition
Since 2010 is the International year of Biodiversity and a goal is to bring an end to earth’s loss of biodiversity and raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection and nature conservation in Vietnam, the Vietnam National Museum of Nature in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Vietnam organized the ‘Insects of Vietnam’ photographic exhibition. The exhibition stems from an expedition organized by the Vietnam National Museum of Nature and the Nature History Museum of Florence University, Italy, and is open from December 16-18.
(Vietnamese version)
Trien lam anh con trung dau tien tai Viet Nam

Lang Son: Seizure of 200 nightingales
On December 13, Lang Son EP and the Forest Protection Department (FPD) confiscated 200 nightingales that were hidden in the garden of a local resident’s home while waiting to be sold. Authorities are continuing with their investigation.
(Vietnamese version)
Lang Son thu giu 200 con chim hoa mi nhap lau

"I am green" environmental campaign honors youth
On December 14, winners of the “I am green” campaign for the environment organized by the British Council in Vietnam received awards, with young people taking all the highest honors. “I am green” is a campaign which aims to raise public awareness about environmental issues and captivated the attention of many people across the country.
(Vietnamese version)
Chien dich moi truong “I am green” vinh danh ban tre


Nguyen Bich Ngoc
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
E-mail: (English) (Vietnamese) (English wildlife trade website)




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