News Brief (E448, December 22, 2011)
3,145 cases of illegal deforestation discovered in 2011
In the 11 months up to November 31, 26,789 cases have been recorded involving violation of government regulations on forest protection, forest fire prevention and forest business management. This represents a drop of 16% compared to the same period in 2010. Probably the most serious violations of the laws on forest protection involve illegal deforestation. It is estimated that from the beginning of 2011, 3,145 cases of illegal deforestation were recorded, involving an area of 1,968 ha, up 15% from the same period in 2010. These violations cause serious damage to forest resources. The problem of violence from offenders against officials is increasing in both frequency and severity, particularly in Lam Dong, Quang Binh, Binh Thuan, Quang Nam and Ha Tinh. In general, there is a need for more effective and timely action against illegal activities involving forest protection.
Vietnamese version, republished from Thanh Tra newspaper of December 16, 2011:
Hanoi: 16 year sentence for trading wild animal bones
On December 19, the People's Supreme Court in Hanoi sentenced a couple and four related people to 16 years’ imprisonment for illegally trading tiger and other wild animal bones. According to court documents, local police caught four people illegally transporting various kinds of wild animal bones in September 2010, and further investigations revealed that the couple were the head of a trading network. While investigating their house in Truong Dinh Street, authorities found that the subjects had many rare wild animal bones stored there, and had produced tiger bone glue and other ‘medicinal’ tonics. This strict judgement is an appropriate punishment for those who have violated wildlife protection laws.
(Case Ref. 2797/ENV)
929 cases involving violation of wildlife regulations
According to the National Forest Protection Department (FPD), so far in 2011 there have been 929 cases that involve violation of wildlife management regulations, an increase of 140 cases compared to 2010. 17,760 animals have been confiscated, of which 863 were rare, wild species. The cases mostly occurred in Quang Ninh (159 cases), Dong Nai (71 cases) and Ho Chi Minh City (49 cases). Wildlife protection activities are faced with many difficulties due to the complicated tactics employed by offenders. The wildlife trade in many provinces is not still treated firmly and thoroughly enough.
Vietnamese version, republished from Thanh Tra newspaper of December 15, 2011:
Khanh Hoa: Sea turtles lose nesting sites
According to Nha Trang Bay Sea Reserve, sea turtles are in danger of losing nesting sites due to large-scale construction activities. There are only two places in the area where turtles lay their eggs, Long Beach in Cam Ranh Bay and Dam Tre in Nha Trang Bay. However, Long Beach is intending to implement a number of tourist projects, and Dam Tre is building a training center under a project of the Khanh Hoa Sanest Company. These construction operations and regular human activities will surely lead to the disappearance of turtle nests in the area, posing a direct threat to the existence of sea turtles not only in Khanh Hoa, but also more broadly in Vietnam. The authorities in Khanh Hoa need to stop these construction activities in both locations to protect rare sea turtles.
Vietnamese version, republished from Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper of December 20, 2011:
Marine resources at risk
According to the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, 14% of coral species in Vietnam have disappeared, and coastal erosion takes place in most coastal areas, seawater encroaches onto the land at least 50 m, and up to 250 m in many places. In addition, the coastal areas of Vietnam have been suffering from unpredictable hurricanes which have caused the deaths of many people and damages costing billions of VND. Potentially the most dangerous causes of environmental incidents in the marine and coastal areas of Vietnam are climate change and sea-level rise. As a result of recent research, if sea levels increase by 1 m in the next 100 years, Vietnam will have 17 million people suffering from floods every year and the cost of protection will increase by 2.4 billion USD. Therefore, having methods to forecast, prevent, adapt and reduce marine and coastal damages will play an extremely important role in the future protection and sustainable use of marine resources and the environment in Vietnam.
Vietnamese version, republished from Vietnam Plus newspaper of December 19, 2011:
Thanh Hoa: Discovery of rare wildlife in Quan Son
Recently, many rare wild animals such as common barking deer, sambar deer, and wild pigs have been detected in the forests of Quan Son district. Evidence of these species has been found by rangers working in the area. According to the FPD, Quan Son, these species are appearing again thanks to a reduction in hunting of wildlife through firearm control and the provision of forest protection activities in the regulations of each village.
Vietnamese version, republished from Thanh Hoa newspaper of December 11, 2011:
Northern Vietnam: A large amount of rare wildlife seized
Over the course of a week, authorities have uncovered many large-scale wildlife smuggling operations. On December 15, the Economic Crime Investigation Police Department together with the Market Management Team in Thanh Hoa province stopped a car carrying 439 kg of pangolins with a number of fake registration plates belonging to state vehicles. On December 18, the FPD in Hai Duong seized a bus carrying 65 king cobras (Ophiophagus hannah) weighing about 350 kg and 150 other wild animals including storks and owls. This case is potentially serious because the subject could be criminally charged with transporting only one king cobra. All subjects are being held for further investigation.
(Case Ref. 3873, 3886/ENV)
Dong Nai: Propaganda program for wildlife protection
In line of propaganda program for wildlife protection in the South, from 21 to 23 December, ENV is organizing a series of activities to raise awareness of wildlife protection in Bien Hoa City. It includes a wildlife exhibition and bear exhibition.
Da Nang: Wildlife Trade program
On December 23, ENV will hold a wildlife trade program in the March 29 Textile Garment Joint Stock Company. It includes a wildlife trade exhibition and a program to encourage participation in wildlife protection.
Tran Thi Duyen
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)