The illegal wildlife trade is destroying our Earth, pushing endangered species to extinction, and threatening public health on a globally deadly scale as the 4th largest black-market industry worldwide. Vietnam is a major player in the widespread trafficking of wildlife, with high demand for wildlife and as a wildlife trafficking hub. Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) is a local NGO fighting to end Vietnam’s illegal wildlife trade through education and strategic action to combat wildlife crime.
Vietnam is a significant part of the global illegal wildlife trade threatening our Earth and human health. Demand for wildlife is high in Vietnam due to traditional medicine, consumption at restaurants, the status symbol of endangered species products, and the growing illegal pet trade. Large criminal networks take advantage of this demand by illegally supplying Vietnam with tons of wildlife and their products, while also using Vietnam as a transit country for wildlife smuggling routes.
ENV tackles Vietnam’s illegal wildlife trade through education and strategic work to combat wildlife crime. Awareness campaigns reach millions across Vietnam through schools, public events, TV, radio, social media, elevator screens, airports, buses, and trains. Meanwhile, ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit receives more than 8 new public reports of wildlife crime a day. Case Officers coordinate a response by authorities to confiscate live animals and wildlife products, and arrest and prosecute criminals.
ENV has tackled over 45,000 wildlife crime violations, contributed to a 90% decrease of bears on bile farms, and by mobilizing authorities, confiscated tons of wildlife products and rescued thousands of wild animals from the illegal trade. ENV investigations have also led to the arrest and imprisonment of 4 trafficking network leaders. ENV’s work on demand reduction and enforcement has and continues to drive the change needed to secure a better future for wildlife, both in Vietnam and globally.