News Brief (E450, January 05, 2012)
A full version of each news story can be obtained by accessing links provided on our website:
Natural resources degraded due to development
According to a survey conducted by the Biodiversity Conservation Department - Vietnam Environment Administration, development pressure has resulted in degradation of natural resources in central Truong Son. Over the past 50 years activities such as development of hydroelectricity, expansion of rubber plantations, mining gold illegally, hunting animals and forest fires have placed pressure on forest areas that are part of a biodiversity conservation project. Forest and landscape destruction, combined with unstable social security are issues that are beyond the authorities’ control.
To reduce the impact of development, it is necessary to adjust socioeconomic development plans so that they are sustainable and friendly to the environment. Natural resource management methods must be modified to maintain stable ecosystems, and prioritize reforestation and development. Moreover, large-scale reservation programs that consider both biodiversity and the interests of local residents are needed.
Vietnamese version, republished from VietnamPlus newspaper, January 3, 2012:
Phu Yen: 1,000 ha of forest lost to hydroelectricity
Phu Yen has 13 hydroelectricity projects, of which three have been put into operation, and another three are ongoing projects. 1,000 ha of forest have been lost from the implementation of these hydroelectricity projects. According to a delegation of the National Assembly in Phu Yen province, hydroelectricity stations have been established without reforestation. This shows a lack of accountability of hydroelectricity companies when it comes to restoration of the environment.
Vietnamese version, republished from Dan Viet newspaper, December 31, 2011:
Lam Dong: Nine years’ imprisonment for destroying forest
The People’s Court in the town of Dalat has sentenced two subjects to a total of nine years’ imprisonment for deforestation. According to court documents, from November 2010 to March 2011, the two subjects destroyed 1,977 forest plants, representing about 70 m3 of timber from an area of 7,233 m2 in the Ta Nung protective forest, for land to plant coffee. The two subjects intentionally destroyed a large area of forest in Ta Nung protective forest, despite knowing that their activities were illegal. Therefore, nine years’ imprisonment is a just consequence for their blatant disregard of the law.
Vietnamese version, republished from Lam Dong newspaper, December 28, 2011:
Comprehensive inspection of rangers
According to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), there are about 11,000 forest rangers throughout the country who are responsible for forest management and protection, focusing on protective forests and watersheds. However, a number of negative activities of rangers have recently been reported. For example rangers have been found to be cooperating with loggers causing deforestation, such as in Pu Huong Nature Reserve in Nghe An province. Under these circumstances, MARD decided to make a comprehensive inspection of rangers from central Vietnam to the Central Highlands. According to the chief inspector of MARD, the inspection is focused on organization, functions and duties of the ranger system; the results will be used to adjust the ranger system appropriately.
Vietnamese version, republished from Dan Viet newspaper, December 29, 2011:
A large amount of rare timber seized
The timber smuggling situation is becoming increasingly complicated. On December 28, 2011, the Task Force on Crime Prevention of Binh Phuoc Border Guard in cooperation with Loc An Border Checkpoint in Loc Ninh province, caught a large-scale timber smuggling operation during transport of the timber from the Cambodian border. The authorities confiscated over 70 m3 of rare timbers belonging to Group IA, IIA. On December 29, 2011, the Ha Tinh Border Guard together with the Border Guard Checkpoint in Cau Treo International Border Gate and other local authorities discovered two trucks carrying over 10 m3 of illegal timber in the Huong Khe district.
Vietnamese version, republished from CAND newspaper, December 29, 2011 and from Tienphong newspaper, December 31, 2011:
83 environmental violation cases solved in southern Vietnam
According to the Environmental Crime Prevention Police Department, in 2011 there were 95 cases relating to environmental protection in southern Vietnam. Of these, 83 cases were investigated and the subjects fined a total of up to 10 billion VND. The cases mainly involved environmental pollution (33 cases), illegally collecting, transporting and storing dangerous wastes (22 cases), discharging untreated gases into the environment (6 cases) and exploiting mineral resources illegally (15 cases). Violation of environmental protection law in industrial parks and export processing zones has caused serious pollution to water, land, air and residential areas affecting the life and health of local people.
Vietnamese version, republished from Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper, January 3, 2012:
Hanoi: About 70 kg of elephant tusks seized
On December 30, 2011, Noi Bai International Airport Customs Branch discovered 18 elephant tusks with total weight over 65 kg hidden in three bags on a Paris-Hanoi-Bangkok flight. The owner of the shipment is French. This was illegal trade of a large amount of ivory being transported by air was found and seized in 2011.
Vietnamese version, republished from VTV, December 31, 2011:
Thua Thien Hue: Loggerhead sea turtle released
On January 2, fishermen caught an 85 cm loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) weighing 80 kg in the sea near Phu Vang district. On the same day the Department of Fisheries Resources Exploitation and Protection in Thua Thien Hue and local authorities persuaded the fishermen to observe the law of protecting rare animals and they helped authorities release the turtle back into the sea.
Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as rare, endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Vietnamese version, republished from Nhan Dan newspaper, January 2, 2012:
Elephant tusk smuggling escalates in 2011
A record number of large ivory seizures took place in 2011, a "horrible year" for elephants, the wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic said. There were at least 13 seizures of more than 800 kg of elephant tusks in 2011, compared to six large seizures in 2010. The weight of the 13 largest seizures this year is equivalent to more than 23 tons of ivory, from some 2,500 elephants. Most of the ivory seized in 2011 was shipped from Kenya and Tanzania to buyers in China and Thailand. Malaysia was used as a transit country in six of the large seizures. The escalating quantities of ivory seized in 2011 reflect both a rising demand in Asia and an increasing sophistication in the methods used by criminal gangs behind the trafficking. Some environmental campaigners say the decision to allow some southern African countries, whose elephant populations are booming, to sell their stockpiles of ivory has fuelled the illegal trade.
Reference from TRAFFIC website, December 29, 2011:
Thanh Hoa: Bear exhibition
In 2011, ENV organized a total of 41 bear exhibitions, which attracted about 23,000 commitments from people to protect the bear. In line with these events, on January 8, ENV will organize a bear exhibition, the 1st event in 2012, in Hoa Khanh Market in Da Nang City with the aim of raising public awareness of bear and wildlife protection in Vietnam.
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)