News Brief (E451, January 12, 2012)

Top News

10 solutions to protect the environment in 2012
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has provided 10 methods to improve the environment in 2012. The 10 solutions focus on overcoming previous shortcomings in environmental protection, including improving the effectiveness and efficiency of environmental protection activities, enhancing the qualifications of environmental officials, broadening international cooperation in biodiversity preservation, and controlling pollution. All environmental evaluation criteria will be adjusted and then MONRE will propose movement of the new environmental criteria into the National Strategy for Environmental Protection to 2020, and Vision 2030.

Vietnamese version, republished from Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper, January 9, 2012:

Environmental pollution needs more transnational attention
Oil spill incidents in the coastal areas of the western Gulf of Tonkin are cause for concern on a transnational level. According to the Marine Resources and Environment Institute, the legislation to solve transnational environmental pollution is very poor; over 77% of oil spill incidents in territorial waters of Vietnam have not been compensated for or are still in the process of negotiation. Evidently, improvements are needed in the legal framework and the Government needs to cooperate with other regional countries and international organizations to reduce the negative impacts of pollution.

Vietnamese version, republished from, January 9, 2012:

Hanoi: Restaurant cooking tiger bone gruel uncovered
On January 9, a joint inspection team in Hanoi raided the Tay Bac Quan restaurant in Nhan Chinh Ward of Thanh Xuan District, and caught the restaurant’s owner directing staff to illegally cook a tiger skeleton, weighing about 150 kg, to make tiger bone glue. After examining the bones, the head of the Research Department, Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources said that the bones belonged to a tiger of the Panthera tigris species, which is banned from trade and is a protected species. The police also seized 25kg of chamois bones. The restaurant’s owner claimed that she bought the tiger’s carcass from a person in Thanh Hoa city. According to police, the subject is a repeat offender having been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment in 2007 for violating the regulations on rare and precious wild animal protection. The police are tracking down the origins of the tiger.

Vietnamese version, republished from Tuoi Tre newspaper, January 10, 2012:

Dak Lak: 200 m3 of precious timber seized
On January 8, the Economic Crime Investigation Police in Dak Lak province seized five trucks carrying about 100 m3 of precious timber in Buon Don District. The timber belongs to Group IIA according to Decree 32/2006/ND-CP – the group of rare plants restricted from being exploited, used or traded. Police then discovered three yards storing another 100 m3 of similarly precious timber. The Investigation Police in Dak Lak have detained 12 subjects and kept material evidence for further investigation.

Vietnamese version, republished from Lao Dong newspaper, January 10, 2012:

Rare dolphins discovered in Kien Giang
Scientists from the Institute of Tropical Biology have found around 20 Irrawaddy dolphins in the sea around Ba Lua Island in the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve. Scientists do not have accurate statistics for the community of Irrawaddy dolphins in Ba Lua, but this is a large number in comparison to between 7-10 dolphins discovered in previous surveys (for the Malamyapa Strait and Mekong River). The Center for Biodiversity and Development will cooperate with local and international organizations to preserve this species.

The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is a euryhaline species of oceanic dolphin found in discontinuous subpopulations near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia. Irrawaddy dolphins are IUCN listed as a vulnerable species, and in 2004 CITES transferred the Irrawaddy dolphin from Appendix II to Appendix I, which forbids all commercial trade in species that are threatened with extinction.

Vietnamese version, republished from Vietnamnent newspaper, January 9, 2012:

International News
World Environment Day 2012 theme
In 2012, the United Nations will celebrate its 40th World Environment Day (WED). During the past four decades, WED has become an annual environmental event which is organised throughout the world and attracts a large number of participants. The activities supporting WED occur during the year, but reach a climax on June 5. As people welcomed in the new year in 2012, UNEP announced the theme of this year’s WED - “Green Economy: Does it include you?”. Brazil has been chosen to be the host of this  year’s event.

Reference from UNEP website:

China: Over 117 bear paws confiscated
According to the General Administration of Customs, a recent case, involving as many as 117 bear paws smuggled from a neighboring country, has been cracked in Hunchun, Northeast China's Jilin province. Eight smugglers, who carried the bear paws in two trucks, were seized when they returned from a neighboring country in the early morning of December 14, 2011. Of the 117 bear paws, 103 are from Asiatic black bears (Selenarctos thibetanus) and 14 are from brown bears (Ursus arctos). It was estimated that at least 26 black bears and four brown bears were killed for the paws. Bears are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss and bear bile trade.

Reference from China Securities Journal, January 6, 2012:

Philippine authorities seize butchered pangolins
Philippine wildlife authorities recently seized a huge shipment of meat and scales from up to a hundred slaughtered pangolins. Palawan authorities seized 26.5 kg of pangolin meat on January 4 and 95 kg of pangolin scales on January 2 at Puerto Princesa Airport. The meat and scales were probably destined for China to be used in culinary delicacies, traditional medicine and handicrafts. Also seized with the pangolin scales were 90.5 kg of endangered sea turtles. The pangolin seizure represents the biggest haul of trafficked pangolin meat in Palawan. Wildlife officers said the shipment was disguised as frozen goat meat. The government is hunting for those behind the killing of the pangolins, an act that is punishable by up to six years in jail for every animal killed.

Reference from MSN News, January 6, 2012:

Up-coming events

Da Nang: Wildlife trade program
On January 15, ENV will organize a wildlife trade program in Daiwa Company in Da Nang City to raise corporate awareness of wildlife protection. Activities include:

- A wildlife trade exhibition
- A banner display
- Collection of commitments to protect wildlife


Tran Thi Duyen
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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