ENV is not only on the front line of wildlife crime, but we are also working to ensure that the elimination of wildlife crime will be long-lasting and sustainable by improving legislation related to wildlife protection.
In 2013, the Vietnamese Government released Decree 157 in relation to punishments for illegal acts concerning protected species. However, the decree directly contradicts the criminal code and actually reduces the severity of punishment for such crimes, causing difficulties and confusion for enforcement authorities in dealing with wildlife violations. It is obviously essential that this decree be overturned, and ENV has tried time and time again to raise the issue with lawmakers. However, we have seen little action in the last 6 months.
So, this time, we decided to raise this issue with the media, in the hope that media and public pressure will cause the authorities to act. This morning, ENV invited 16 proactive journalists to discuss this issue, and hear ENV’s concerns. Particularly passionate was journalist Doan Hoang, who joined ENV on our delegation to South Africa last year, and who today urged his colleagues to do more to raise wildlife issues and fight wildlife crime. We now look forward to the increased pressure from the media and the swift removal of Decree 157, so that the law in Vietnam will be able to better protect the country’s wildlife.