Vietnam is a major consumer of endangered species and a key target country for combating wildlife trafficking. The Vietnamese government, with support from the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program, recently convened government and NGO stakeholders to form a coalition to address illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam.  Vietnam’s Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) held the meeting on July 19 – 20 to develop communication strategies for reducing the illegal consumption of wildlife.  ARREST partner FREELAND presented the iTHINK consumption reduction campaign to the coalition, showcasing thought provoking messages from key opinion leaders and high-ranking government officials to discourage illegal wildlife consumption. Representatives from Market Control, Environmental Police, Department of Traditional Medicine and Pharmacy, Central Committee for Education and Propaganda, and National Youth Union attended the meeting.  Local environmental NGOs such as Vietnam Association for Conservation for Nature and Environment, Asian Turtle Program, PanNature, FREELAND, Wildlife Conservation Society and World Society for the Protection of Animals were also present. The coalition committed to draft a detailed strategic communications plan, which includes a calendar on wildlife consumption-related awareness activities in Vietnam.

Source:  USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update

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