Thư mời tham gia chương trình Trạm Sự Sống

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Thư mời tham gia chương trình Trạm Sự Sống

WildAct kính chào các bạn,

Nếu các bạn đang là chủ một cửa hàng, cửa hiệu, đặc biệt là những nhà hàng ăn, uống thì hãy tham gia chương trình Trạm Sự Sống với WildAct nhé!

Đây là một chương trình nhằm giúp cộng đồng giảm thiểu đến mức tối đa lượng sử dụng chai nước nhựa dùng một lần. Bạn biết không, mỗi phút qua đi có đến một triệu chai nước nhựa được mua mỗi phút trên toàn thế giới – tức là hàng triệu thùng dầu được sử dụng chỉ để tạo ra những chai nước nhựa này!!! Và điều quan trọng nhất, là có hơn 90% số chai nhựa này bị ném, chôn, lấp vào đất, làm ô nhiễm môi trường đất, trôi dạt ra sông, suối, ao hồ và biển cả, gây ra cái chết cho hàng trăm nghìn động vật hoang dã mỗi năm.

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Vì thế mà, chỉ với một hành động tưởng chừng như rất nhỏ: đó là khi người tiêu dùng tự mang theo mình một Chai Sự Sống; đó là khi chủ những cửa hàng, cửa hiệu – như các bạn, đồng ý cung cấp nước lọc miễn phí cho mọi người – thì bạn đã giúp đỡ cộng đồng để cùng gìn giữ môi trường sống của chính chúng mình một cách hiệu quả nhất.

Vậy làm thế nào để tham gia chương trình này:

1.       Các bạn hãy điền đơn đăng ký tham gia Trạm Sự Sống theo đường link này: Ấn vào đây

2.       Nếu thông tin của các bạn đầy đủ, và có thể xác nhận cửa hàng của bạn, WildAct sẽ gửi email thông báo;

3.       WildAct sẽ đăng tải thông tin về cửa hàng của các bạn trong danh mục Trạm Sự Sống bằng cả tiếng Anh và tiếng Việt, đồng thời cập nhật địa chỉ của cửa hàng các bạn trong đường link QR Code được in trên Chai Sự Sống - người sử dụng chỉ cần scan QR code này trên điện thoại di động là có thể đến với danh mục các Trạm Sự Sống trên cả nước;

Lợi ích của bạn khi tham gia chương trình này:

1.       Gìn giữ cho môi trường sống của chính bạn sạch sẽ, trong lành hơn;

2.       WildAct sẽ giúp các bạn quảng bá hình ảnh cửa hàng tại các trang thông tin như báo chí, mạng xã hội, và với các công ty du lịch để du khách cùng biết đến các cửa hàng thân thiện với môi trường ở Việt Nam;

Hãy cùng đăng ký tham gia mạng lưới Trạm Sự Sống – Station for Life với WildAct nhé!

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Refill stations - Vietnam

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Refill stations - Vietnam

DANH SÁCH CÁC TRẠM SỰ SỐNG Ở VIỆT NAM

Khu vực phía Bắc:

Hà Nội

  1. Tổ Chim Xanh - Bluebird’s nest: Số 13 ngõ 19 Đặng Dung (ngõ tập thể 27A Đặng Dung)

    Cung cấp Nước Qua Hệ Thống Máy Lọc

  2. Bà Vân - Cửa hàng bán đồ thân thiện với môi trường: Nhà 21D ngõ 34 Văn Cao

    Cung cấp Nước Qua Hệ Thống Máy Lọc

  3. Half Full - Bistro & Café Times City - Số 1 cổng phụ Times City, 458 Minh Khai, Q. Hai Bà Trưng

    Cung cấp nước khoáng

  4. Oneness Chay, số 1 Cổng phụ, Times City (Đối diện cổng sau Vinmec). 458 Minh Khai, Q. Hai Bà Trưng

  5. Trại Cá - Số 1, ngõ 200 Trần Đại Nghĩa [bắt đầu từ ngày 10 tháng 11]

Khu vực miền Trung

  1. Tam Thanh Natural Beach Resort: Thôn Hạ thanh 1, Tam thanh, Tam kỳ, Quảng nam

    Cung cấp Nước Khoáng

  2. Cafe Ban Mê: 323 Lạc Long Quân , phường Trần Quang Diệu , thành phố Quy Nhơn

    Cung cấp Nước Đun Sôi Để Nguội

Khu vực phía Nam

Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh

  1. Green Around the Corner: 32 Tran Ngoc Dien, Thảo Điền, Quận 2.

    Cung cấp Nước Khoáng

  2. Tipsy Art Co-working Art Space: 6B Nguyễn Cảnh Chân, Quận 1

    Cung cấp Nước Khoáng

  3. Ghém: 103 Pasteur phường Bến Nghé quận 1

    Cung cấp Nước qua hệ thống lọc

Bình Thuận

  1. Macchio coffee: 182A Thủ Khoa Huân – Phan Thiết

    Cung cấp Nước Khoáng

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THƯ VIỆN HOANG DÃ

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THƯ VIỆN HOANG DÃ

 Một góc tủ sách về thiên nhiên hoang dã được tổ chức WildAct quyên góp cho Thư Viện Dương Liễu, tại xã Dương Liễu, Hoài Đức, Hà Nội

Một góc tủ sách về thiên nhiên hoang dã được tổ chức WildAct quyên góp cho Thư Viện Dương Liễu, tại xã Dương Liễu, Hoài Đức, Hà Nội

"THƯ VIỆN HOANG DÃ" LÀ GÌ?

Chương trình Thư Viện Hoang Dã là chương trình nhằm cung cấp cơ hội được tiếp cận với sách về thiên nhiên, môi trường, các loài động, thực vật hoang dã đến cho các em nhỏ. Chương trình đặc biệt chú ý tới những em nhỏ đang sinh sống gần các vườn quốc gia, các khu bảo tồn, các em có hoàn cảnh khó khăn và ít được tiếp cận với sách.

MỤC ĐÍCH CỦA CHƯƠNG TRÌNH

•Cung cấp các thông tin trong nước và quốc tế về các vấn đề môi trường để làm tăng nhận thức của trẻ em và người dân bản địa, đặc biệt là tại các khu vực sống gần các Vườn Quốc Gia và các Khu Bảo Tồn về những loài đang bị đe dọa;

•Giáo dục thế hệ trẻ Việt Nam về thiên nhiên hoang dã đang sinh sống xung quanh chúng ta, những việc các em nên (và không nên làm) để gìn giữ môi trường sống trong lành;

•Tạo điều kiện để người dân bản địa có thể tự quản lý Thư Viện Hoang Dã cho con em họ;

•Ủng hộ các dự án Phát Triển Cộng Đồng của các tổ chức bảo tồn khác đang làm việc trong khu vực.

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MỤC TIÊU LÂU DÀI

• Xây dựng nguồn lực tương lai trong công tác bảo tồn động thực vật hoang dã bằng cách đưa các thông tin khoa học về thiên nhiên, môi trường đến với các em nhỏ ở Việt Nam;

•Cung cấp cơ hội tập huấn với giáo viên tại các trường học bản địa về những hoạt động ngoại khóa có thể tổ chức tại trường về thiên nhiên hoang dã;

•Mối liên quan giữa sự tăng trưởng của số lượng quần thể hoang dã, hoặc/và sự suy giảm của tình trạng đặt bẫy, săn bắn tại những khu vực có Thư Viện Hoang Dã và những khu vực chưa có Thư Viện.

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tại xã DƯƠNG LIỄU

Tại xã Dương Liễu, chương trình được tổ chức vào ngày chủ nhật, 5 tháng 8 năm 2018. 32 em học sinh tiểu học đã tham gia chương trình. Các em được tham gia thi vẽ tranh, tô màu, và bàn bạc về các vấn đề liên quan đến môi trường xung quanh các em.

Cuộc thi vẽ tranh và thi tô màu đã chọn được ra 3 em học sinh có tranh vẽ đẹp nhất và 3 em có tranh tô màu đẹp nhất. Giải thưởng dành cho các em là: 

Phần thưởng của giải nhất:

1 cuốn Chuyện kể hằng đêm dành cho các cô bé cá tính

1 cuốn Mình có thể làm nghề gì để chăm sóc mẹ thiên nhiên

1 cuốn Mình có thể làm gì để giúp đỡ cộng đồng

1 cuốn Chú tê giác Romeo

1 bộ bút màu

1 túi vải bảo vệ tê giác. 

       

Phần thưởng của giải nhì:

1 cuốn Mình có thể làm nghề gì để chăm sóc mẹ thiên nhiên

1 cuốn Mình có thể làm gì để giúp đỡ cộng đồng

1 cuốn Chú tê giác Romeo

1 bộ bút màu

1 túi vải bảo vệ tê giác.  

Ngoài ra, các em nhỏ đến tham dự chương trình được tặng cuốn “Những cây thuốc, vị thuốc có tác dụng thay thế mật gấu trong đông y” – được tổ chức Động Vật Châu Á (Animals Asia) in và phân phối, để mang về tặng phụ huynh.

Bạn có thể xem báo cáo hoạt động của chương trình tại xã Dương liễu ở đây:

Báo cáo hoạt động: Thư Viện Hoang Dã - xã Dương Liễu

Hiện tại, chương trình Thư Viện Hoang Dã đang được hoạt động 100% dựa vào lợi nhuận của cuốn sách “Trở Về Nơi Hoang Dã”, xuất bản bởi nhà xuất bản Nhã Nam: http://nhanam.com.vn/sach/10517/tro-ve-noi-hoang-da

Mọi thông tin chi tiết xin liên hệ:

wild.library@wildact-vn.org

Bạn có thể đóng góp cho chương trình bằng cách:

1. Mua và đọc cuốn Trở Về Nơi Hoang Dã - được xuất bản bởi nhà xuất bản Nhã Nam;

2. Mua và sử dụng túi tê giác, thay cho túi vải;

3. Quyên góp sách cũ với nội dung về bình đằng giới, giáo dục giới tính, thiên nhiên, môi trường, động - thực vật hoang dã và gửi đến tổ chức WildAct của chúng tôi.

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NEW LOGO, NEW HORIZON

 Old and new logo

Old and new logo

WildAct has a new logo but our mission to raise awareness on conservation issue remain the same. Our new logo incorporates the same elements of natures and humanity. Within the human handprint lies the image of an elephant. It represents WildAct broadening horizon. Elephants are key component of healthy ecosystem wherever they occur. But elephants are increasingly threatening by human activities.

 

In recent years, Vietnam has lost many other large mammals such as rhinos and tigers, but elephants still cling on to survival. WildAct’s work is increasingly focus on the illegal wildlife trade and the illicit trade network between Africa and Asia.

 

The human handprint remains the main feature of our new logo because human is an integral part of conservation: human is the cause of many wildlife conservation issue but we also are the solutions. Conservation is not just about wildlife but also protecting human well-being in a long term.

 

The illegal trade of wildlife products not only have detrimental impacts on wild population but also has negative consequences for human lives.

 

Our new logo is simpler and clearer, giving equal balance to human and nature. And we hope that it would represent WildAct as we continue to growth.

 

WildAct thay logo mới nhưng nhiệm vụ của chúng tôi nhằm nâng cao nhận thức của người dân về các vấn đề bảo tồn vẫn giữ nguyên. Logo mới của chúng tôi kết hợp các yếu tố cân bằng giữa con người và thiên nhiên. Trong dấu in bàn tay người là hình ảnh của một chú voi. Loài voi là thành phần quan trọng, chúng giữ gìn "sức khỏe" của những cánh rừng mà chúng hiện diện. Nhưng voi ngày càng bị đe dọa bởi các hoạt động của con người.

Trong những năm gần đây, Việt Nam đã mất đi rất nhiều loài thú lớn như tê giác và hổ, nhưng loài voi vẫn đang cố gắng bám lấy sự sống. Công việc của WildAct ngày càng tập trung vào việc điều tra nghiên cứu đường dây buôn bán động vật hoang dã bất hợp pháp và mối liên hệ giữa châu Phi và châu Á trong hoạt động này.

Dấu tay con người vẫn là đặc điểm chính của logo mới của chúng tôi, bởi con người là một phần không thể thiếu trong công tác bảo tồn: con người là nguyên nhân gây ra nhiều vấn đề bảo tồn động vật hoang dã nhưng con người cũng chính là giải pháp. Bảo tồn không chỉ là công việc bảo vệ động vật hoang dã mà còn là bảo vệ sự tồn vong của loài người.

Nạn buôn bán bất hợp pháp các sản phẩm động vật hoang dã không chỉ có tác động bất lợi đối với các loài hoang dã mà còn gây ra những hậu quả tiêu cực đối với đời sống của con người.

Logo mới của chúng tôi đơn giản và rõ ràng hơn, mang lại sự cân bằng giữa con người và thiên nhiên. Và chúng tôi hy vọng rằng nó sẽ đại diện cho WildAct khi tổ chức của chúng tôi tiếp tục phát triển.

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Call for applications: Women for the Annamites Grant

We are excited to announce that we are joining force with the Saola Working Group to provide a small grant to support capacity building of women in Vietnam and Laos for biodiversity conservation and sustainability in the Annamite Mountains.

Recognizing that in Indochina ‘forest’ (i.e., conservation) work is traditionally considered suitable mainly for men, and therefore that encouragement and support of women in such work can tap a valuable resource, the Saola Working Group is providing funds to Vietnamese and Lao women (no restriction of age, or education level) involved in biodiversity conservation in the Annamite Mountains.

Application Criteria

•      The grant will support women in their endeavors to contribute to biodiversity conservation in the Annamites Range

•      The grant can be used for conservation/research projects, to support to women from local communities, and for training courses and/or academic scholarships

•      The grant will be awarded to women from Laos or Vietnam (this includes women from ethnic minorities in the Annamite Mountain Range)

•      Projects funded may include (but are not limited to): research; community outreach; sustainable livelihoods with a demonstrable and direct link to conservation; capacity building (incl. training courses) linked to conservation; academic studies.

•      Any project must demonstrate a direct link to conservation

•      Maximum grants are 5000 USD (smaller amounts have a higher chance of being awarded)

 Application deadlines

There are 2 rounds of application review each year, with two deadlines per year:

·         31st December

·         31st May

Please send your application by these dates (application received after the deadline will only be considered for the next round of review.

Applicants will be notified (by email) of the outcome of their application a month after the deadlines (i.e. by 31st January and by 30th June) so timeline of proposed activities should be planned accordingly.

For more information please download our application packs and read the instruction carefully:

Women for the Annaminte Grant

Vietnamese applicants can email: trang.nguyen@wildact-vn.org for any questions regarding the grant.

 

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Research Programs

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Research Programs

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THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE NETWORK

The illegal wildlife trade is a serious conservation problem and has a negative effect on the viability of many wildlife populations. It is one of the major threats to the survival of many species. We monitor the illegal trade network and collecting evidences, as well as working with governments and relevant stakeholders to strengthen regulatory frameworks, provide intelligence, and work with agencies to crack down the illegal trade network within Vietnam and beyond its border.

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UNDERSTANDING CONSUMERS AND TRADERS BEHAVIOUR

It is important to understand why people behaving in a certain way, what trigger their decisions and actions in order to deliver a successful behaviour change campaigns. We conduct research with wildlife traders, wildlife consumers and patients who consume wildlife products, as well as traditional Vietnamese medicines doctor to understand their motivation towards wildlife consumption in Vietnam.

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Legal rhino horn is not the cure: LessonS learned from the bear bile trade in Asia

Worldwide there is a high demand for wild animals and products made from them. Wild species are used as sources of a wide variety of goods, including medicine, food and used in fashion industry. The demand for wildlife in Traditional Asian Medicines (TAM) has been identified as a major driver of unsustainable and illegal trade of wildlife globally. The variety of wildlife products used in Asia is extensive and includes many species that have been designated as Endangered or threatened by the IUCN Red List, such as tiger, bear, pangolin and rhino.

Commercial farming and trade in wildlife has been promoted as a conservation strategy and a potential solution to poaching crisis. It based on a theory that the black markets for wildlife can be flooded with cheaper products from legal farmed sources, thus outcompeting the illegal market, leading to a decrease in poaching.

 Fake rhino horns and bear gall-bladder for sale in Laos - WildAct

Fake rhino horns and bear gall-bladder for sale in Laos - WildAct

Here, I would like to use the bear bile farming in Asia as a case study for the argument against commercial farming of rhino and legalising the trade of rhino horn, as there are several similarities between these two wildlife products:

1. Both rhino horn and bear bile have long been used in the Asian traditional pharmacopoeia.

2. The extraction of bear bile and the harvest of rhino horn do not require the killing of the animals.

3. Before being commercially farmed for their parts, both species were poached in the wild and are facing extinction.

In South Africa, rhino horn was banned from the domestic trade in 2009 in order to protect wild populations from poaching. However, earlier this year, the South African government lifted the ban. Meanwhile, the international trade has been banned since 1977 and it remains the case. More than 10,000km to the East in Vietnam, a few months later, the Vietnamese government announced their commitment to close down bear bile farming completely.

Prior to the advent of commercial bear bile farming, the only way to obtained bear bile was to kill a wild bear and take out the gallbladder which contains the bile. However, in the 1970s, a technique was developed in Korea to extract bile from bears living in captivity and the techinque soon spread to China in 1980s and Vietnam in 1990s. This farming of bear bile were introduced as a means of reducing pressure on wild bear populations and also to meet the demand for bear bile. As bear bile was made legal, the number of bears being kept in China and Vietnam rapidly increased, to over 10,000 bears in the former and approximately 5000 bears in the latter.

 A moon bear were kept in captivity for bear bile farming in Vietnam - WildAct

A moon bear were kept in captivity for bear bile farming in Vietnam - WildAct

The price for bear bile, indeed was reduced greatly due to the availability of farmed products. However, it was not good news for the bears. As farmed bear bile became popular and price dropped, poorer people with less in come were able to afford to have bear bile in their cupboard “just in case” if they needed it. In our recent survey with the youth of Vietnam in 2015, bear bile were still the most popular wildlife part used, even though it was banned by the government since 1992. Consumers of bear bile stated that they do not necessarily purchase bear bile to use immediately, but keep it at home in case of emergency (Report can be found here). This report stated that rhino horn was the least popular item among respondents, with the most frequent reasons stated were that it is illegal, too expensive and it is cruel to kill the rhino for its horn.

In order to increase the profitability of bear bile farming, the bear bile industry also creating new demand by making new non-traditional products by including bear bile in such products as eye drops, shampoo, soft drinks and even toothpaste. Needless to say, the demand for bear bile rapidly increased, leading to the reduction in wild bear populations, not only from countries whose bear bile farming were made legal, but also from the neighbouring countries such as Laos and Cambodia in order to supply the bear bile farming industry. This proves that once wildlife products are commercialised and brought into the “business world”, there will always be new products created to feed the demand, and new demand can always be created by businessmen in order to make more benefits. This pattern was already found with rhino horn: In 2016, a North American company, which will not be named here, claimed to create bioengineered rhino horns in order to flood the market in Asia. Even before the trade of 3D printed rhino horn were permitted, this company published their commercial advertisement on several social media sites.  Their advertisements were made in Vietnamese, claimed to use bioengineered rhino horn in beers, whitening cream for women and also medicines. Needless to say, traditionally the Vietnamese do not put rhino horn in neither beer nor whitening cream.

What is very dangerous about legalising the trade of wildlife products is that WE KNOW the consumers prefer to use wildlife products originating from the WILD, not from the FARM. I once interviewed a relative of a rhino horn consumer in Vietnam and she told me that she bought a piece of rhino horn a few years back for her mother, who was dying from last stage of cancer. The rhino horn did not work, and her mom past away a couple months after putting all her hope and life-savings into rhino horn. She then stated that maybe the rhino horn did not work, because “it was a fake horn”. It did not occur to her, that rhino horn did not save her mom because it actually does not have the power to cure cancer.

A report earlier this year claimed that consumers of rhino horn in Vietnam prefer to use horn of rhino that is harvested in a humane way (can be seen here). However, I would like to point out that this research was clearly designed in a favour of pro-traders: the research avoids using the words “wild” and “farmed” products but instead used “lethal” and “non-lethal”. There is much peer-reviewed research into consumers' preference of several wildlife products in Asia suggesting that there is a strong preference toward products coming from wild origin, as they believed them to have a stronger effective in curing disease, they are considered more potent and therefore more desirable (Can be seen here, here and here ).

Bear bile farming in Asia is dying out, not because farmed bear bile “flooded” the markets as it was set up for, but because consumers believe that bile from farmed bears is not effective. Therefore, wild bear bile was still in high demand, consumers were willing to pay a much higher price for it, and wild bear populations are continuing to decline.

 What will happen to our rhino? - WildAct

What will happen to our rhino? - WildAct

Results from years of legalised bear bile farming and trade is the decline of wild bear populations all over Asia, and thousands of bears are still being kept in captivity in either legal or illegal farms throughout Vietnam and China. These bears are also not suitable to release back to the wild, due to serve physical health issues, and mentally traumatisation from years of being kept in tiny little cages. So, what can we learn from this painful lesson? Commercialising the trade and farming of wild animals, especially those that are endangered such as rhino do not work because:

1. Legalising rhino horn takes away the barrier that stop a group of people who do not consume rhino horn as they afraid of violating the law, thus creating a larger demand for rhino horns.

2. If the price of farmed rhino horn is – as many pro-traders claim -  lower than the price of horn from wild rhino, then it will fall into the same situation as the bear bile farming in Asia. People with lower income will be able to afford rhino horn and this will definitely create more demand for rhino horn consumption.

If the price of farmed rhino horn becomes higher than that of wild rhino due to funding needed to for protection of farmed rhino, protection of harvested horn stocks, veterinary care, food, shelter ect… then obviously rhino will still be poached in the wild, and this theory of saving rhino through farming does not work.

3. The demand cannot be “flooded”, as legalising and commercialising wildlife parts will create opportunity for business to create new products and new demands for them.

4. Wildlife consumers have a strong preference towards products come from wild animals that are living in the wild, not farmed wild animals.

5. Wildlife traders and farmers have a strong incentive to control the supply in order to maintain profitable trading values.

6. There is little understanding of the demand and current domestic markets in South Africa for rhino horn. Do Africans also use rhino horn for medicine or black magic?  If there is no demand for rhino horn within South Africa, then what is the meaning of legalising domestic trade for rhino horn? If the largest rhino horn farm in South Africa only allowed to trade rhino horn domestically, why is he advertised for this product online in both Vietnamese and Chinese? and why is non-resident of South Africa can also join the bidding?

7. There is an increase in rhino horn smuggling from Africa to Asia. Legalising the domestic trade will no doubt create more opportunity for smugglers to transport illegal rhino horn in and out of the country. It has been proven that permit documents are very easy to fake (read report here).

8. Rhino horn is not only being used as a symbol status in Asia, but also as medicine. It was reported that there is an increase of 50% annually in the Asian tourists visiting South Africa. Is enforcement in a good place to stop smuggling of rhino horn out of South Africa? And the sentimental question is: Are the South African government and private rhino farmers willing to take advantage of cancer patients to sell – and promote - fake medicine in order to line their own pockets?

9. Legalising domestic trade of rhino horn in South Africa not only undermines the work of reducing demand and education projects for rhino horn consumers in Asia but also posing a threat to the very few remaining Asian rhinos. The sway that the largest rhino farmer in S.A. has over the Department of Environmental Affairs is no doubt undermining South Africa’s reputation abroad.

10. The legal trade in any commodity that is of monetary value to someone has never prevented it from being stolen – or in this case poached. It is almost always cheaper to take something illegally than to purchase it legally, from a loaf of bread to a mobile phone to a Van Gogh. A legal supply of rhino horn from a farm in Klerksdorp will not stop the slaughter of rhinos in Kruger.

 Illegal wildlife trade market in Durban, South Africa - WildAct

Illegal wildlife trade market in Durban, South Africa - WildAct

I also cannot stop worrying about the decision of legalising the domestic trade in South Africa, as this country is home for approximately 70% of white rhino and 40% of black rhino. Now that South Africa falls victim to the rhino horn trade, other African countries would start questioning “Why can South African make money from their rhino horn but we can’t?”.

30 years of bear bile farming in Asia has done nothing to reduce poaching of wild bears. How long must we allow this experiment in legal rhino horn trade last before we see the error of our ways?

For more information relating this article, please contact:

trang.nguyen@wildact-vn.org

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Smuggled ivory stash in Vietnam is "not from South Africa"

A massive shipment of ivory that was discovered in Vietnam this week, stashed among boxes of fruit, did not originate from South Africa, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.

State media in Vietnam have reported that the 2.7 tons of tusks seized from a truck in the central Thanh Hoa province, originated from South Africa.

But Eleanor Momberg, a spokeswoman for the department, disputed this.

“The ivory did not originate from South Africa,” she said.

Daniel Willcox, of the elephants campaign at the Environmental Investigation Agency, said he was unsure what the claim was based on.

“The state authorities might have had sight of some sort of shipping documents but at this stage, it’s impossible to know for certain,” he said.

A report published last year by Save the Elephants on how Vietnam’s illegal ivory trade threatened Africa’s elephants, documented how its illicit trade was now one of the biggest in the world “with trucks smuggled into Vietnam, nearly all from Africa”.

Andrea Crosta, the co-founder of the non-profit Elephant Action League, said the Thanh Hoa seizure “looks like a lot of ivory, large pieces, months old, if not more.

“It was probably consolidated over many months, with ivory coming from different places

Angola is a concrete possibility, maybe Zambia or even further away,” said Crosta.

“You never know with these large seizures how the main trafficker organised the acquisition and consolidation of the cargo.”

Neil Greenwood, the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s head of programmes and operations for southern Africa, said that trafficking of contraband was complex and was “dictated by the availability of routes and corruption.

“To move their contraband across international borders, traffickers need to find access points where the likelihood of detection is at its most vulnerable.

“So while the contraband might be sourced from a number of different locations (in the case of ivory poaching, a number of different protected areas) it’s then stockpiled and moved through these access points only when reasonably secure routes are found.

“Moving any contraband is a highly risky business so the fewer times it needs to be done to meet the consignment requirement, the better.

“South Africa and Mozambique are particularly vulnerable as they are major shipping countries where contraband may be concealed and hidden among legal trade commodities which are being legally exported.”

Trang Nguyen, of WildAct, a conservation charity in Hanoi, said her research on the illegal ivory trade in Cambodia and Vietnam with Fauna and Flora International had indicated there would be more seizures in countries neighbouring China.

“As the Chinese now ban the trade in ivory completely, many Chinese immigrants and tourists travel to countries with weak enforcement such as Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and set up their own businesses trading ivory openly.” - read the research here: http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/25149/chinese-visitors-fuel-kingdom---s-ivory-market/

Willcox said elephant poaching in the Kruger, which rose in 2015/2016, seemed to have slowed down now “or the drought is masking the number of illegal killings/poachings)”.

He pointed to the latest report on the 2016 trends in African elephant poaching, released in March by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora’s Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants programme.

It noted the number of illegally killed elephants reported remained almost the same: 30 in 2015 and 46 in 2016.

The resulting proportion of illegally killed elephants’ value for Kruger declined from 0.41 to 0.2, the report stated.

“This may be explained by two consecutive years of below-average rainfall and potentially higher natural mortality rather than an actual decline in the poaching losses there,” said the report.

Source: http://www.iol.co.za/saturday-star/news/smuggled-ivory-stash-in-vietnam-not-from-sa-10303761

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RHINO HORN GRINDING PLATES FOR SALE IN HANOI, VIETNAM

Picture taken from our supporter Ha Pham. She visited the famous pottery village - Bát Tràng, only 13km Southeast of Hanoi centre and spotted a sign advertising for a special plate used only for grinding rhino horn.

 Picture reads - for sale bamboos, rhino horn grinding plates, ceramic painting and ceramic pots

Picture reads - for sale bamboos, rhino horn grinding plates, ceramic painting and ceramic pots

 

As the government of Vietnam destroyed over 70kg of rhino horn and 2.2 kg of elephant ivory to show commitment to end wildlife crime, should authority also take action to put enforcement in places - where grinding plates are still openly advertise?

Picture provided by Ha Pham

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Tusk to tail: the other half of the trade

-          How much does this cost? – A European tourist standing next to me asked the shop-owner.

-          1980 Rand – the owner shouted out her answer.

-          That’s expensive! – said the tourist, her nose scrunched up.

-          Because it made from elephant tail hair, love.

Poaching has taken a heavy toll on elephant populations across Africa: in just three years, over 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers. Almost 50% of the elephant population in Eastern Africa has gone, forever. In May 2015, the first elephant was killed in Kruger National Park, South Africa, due to poaching in the last 10 years. By the end of that year, 21 more had been killed. This number increased to 46 in 2016 (SANPark)

Based on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), African elephants are listed on Appendix I since 1989, meaning that the trade of their products is highly prohibited. However, the demand for elephant ivory from many countries in the world, including China, Hong Kong, America, Thailand and may other countries is the driving force behind the illegal trade and poaching of elephants. In order to support international conservation efforts, China – one of the largest markets for elephant ivory - has promised to shut down its trade in elephant ivory.

However, what about the open trade in other elephant parts such as the very popular jewellery made of elephant tail hairs?

In the busy shopping centre of Cape Town, I found no less than 1000 jewellery items made of elephant tail hairs, openly advertised and sold to curious tourists. These tail hairs are normally secured together with silver, gold, and sometime even precious stones. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, even earrings can be made from the hair of the elephants. You name the products; they will have it for you. The price increases depending on the size of the items, and what accompanies it.

 Jewellery made from elephant tail hairs found in Cape Town shopping central

Jewellery made from elephant tail hairs found in Cape Town shopping central

Halfway across the Earth, in Cambodia, where I conducted a survey on the illegal trade of ivory in 2016, a huge amount of jewellery made from elephant products, such as ivory and elephant tail hair, were found too (Nguyen.2016). Similar to the case of the elephant ivory, the trader tends to tell me these parts are harvested from captive Asian elephants. However with international trade banned and only 71 captive elephants in the country, it is obvious that the amount of items found in the domestic market of Cambodia  by far exceeds what could be provided by captive elephants. One of the most expensive items found in Cambodia was a bracelet made of elephant ivory and elephant tail hair, decorated with gold. This item was advertised for 5000 USD. Not only openly for sale in the market, raw and products made from elephant ivory and tail hairs were also advertised on social media, such as Facebook, in Vietnam (Nguyen.2017). Each hair strand can be sold for 10 USD, a whole tail (as seen in the picture below), can be bought for 100 USD.

 Elephant tails for sale on Vietnamese Facebook. Read our report for more details.

Elephant tails for sale on Vietnamese Facebook. Read our report for more details.

Currently, very little attention is given to the illegal trade in elephant tail hair. It is worth noting that most of the shops illegally trading elephant ivory are also openly selling elephant tail hairs and other wildlife products in Vietnam and Cambodia. There is also no domestic African elephant in Africa and the trade of any elephant parts is prohibited. One might argue that these elephant tail hairs are made from culled elephants; however South Africa  stopped this practice in 1994.

Tourism, particularly nature-based tourism, is an important sector of the African economy as it strives for sustainable development. It is crucial for the government of South Africa to protect species such as elephant from unsustainable exploitation. Tourists should be made aware of the illegal nature of the trade in elephant parts, and government and non-government organisations should take this trade more seriously, as it is very likely that products made from elephant tail hairs represent just the tips of the much larger iceberg.

For more information, please contact our director Trang Nguyen: trang.nguyen@wildact-vn.org

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New project: The impacts of Traditional Asian Medicines on the African wildlife

South Africa, 6th April 2016 - Our new project " The Impact of Traditional Asian Medicines on African Wildlife: The Role of East Asian Immigrants" is funded by the Rufford Foundation. The research will be carried out at several cities in South Africa, such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

For thousands of years, Asian societies have treated illness and disease with plants, herbs and wild animal products. Although different countries in Asia developed their own way of treating illness from wildlife, these medical traditions are strongly influenced by the traditional medicine practices of China. For example, both Vietnam and China have an ancient history of using rhino horn, pangolin scales and tiger bone as traditional medicines to cure a wide range of illness. As the population of Asian rhino declined toward extinction, the suppliers of TAMs turned to Africa as a new source of rhino horn. New uses of rhino horns, such as in the treatment of cancer, is also believed to be one of the main factors contributing to the rise of rhino horn poaching and trafficking globally.

 Pangolin scale found in a local market at Johannesburg

Pangolin scale found in a local market at Johannesburg

The demand for tiger bones is also soaring in South Africa. Two facilities in South Africa that claim to be involved with tiger conservation based in Free State are Tiger Canyons and Save China’s tiger. These facilities are thought to be involved in the trade of 11 tiger skeletons and in 2016, an investigation from Al Jazeera titled “The poachers pipeline” documented tiger bones being cooked into “tiger balm” – also known as “tiger cake” or “tiger jelly” (a residue boiled down from tiger bone) in South Africa to be exported and also used by Asian communities in South Africa. It is important to stress that, as tiger populations decline, African lions are being intentionally poached for TAMs. Their bones are being shipped legally to Asia as substitutes for tiger products, believed to also provide strength to the consumers. It is possible that lion bones is not only being consumed in Asia as TAMs, but is also consumed in Africa by Asian communities as medicine.

Currently Africa is considered as a “source” continent – providing wildlife parts, including a wide range of endangered wildlife such as tiger, lion, rhino and pangolin, to feed the demand of TAMs in Asia. However, with the growing economic ties between the Africa and Asia, as well as the increase in Asian immigrants in Africa, this continent might soon turn into an “end user” of wildlife parts for TAMs. Beyond direct threats, the conservation of these species are also hammered by limited knowledge of the illegal trade and consumption of their parts in South Africa through TAMs by East Asian immigrants, and whether or not this practice is being accepted by the local African. This issue must be addressed to conserve tigers, lions, pangolins and rhinos in the long-term.

To find out more about the project, please contact our director Trang Nguyen at:

trang.nguyen@wildact-vn.org

 

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Critically endangered species for sale online on Facebook in Vietnam

Hanoi, 17th November. At the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, the local organisation WildAct announced the results of their online market survey, focusing on Facebook in Vietnam. Products from protected species, such as tiger, rhino, elephant and pangolin are openly for sale on this number one social media platform in Vietnam.

The rapid spread of Internet use underpins a potential threat to endangered wildlife impacted by trade and demand for their products. The number of Internet users in Vietnam is approximately 50 million, while Internet shopping, including for certain wildlife products, is likewise growing year on year. Previous research showed that a wild array of endangered species and wildlife products were being sold in several Vietnamese online platforms, such as website, Facebook page and forum.

 Tiger skin for sale on Facebook

Tiger skin for sale on Facebook

It has been reported that Facebook has 30 million monthly active users in Vietnam. WildAct conducted their survey focusing on Facebook during a 6-month period, from October 2015 – April 2016. Almost 2000 adverts and 3000 comments were analysed.

                                   

Research found that products of endangered and critically endangered species listed under the IUCN Redlist, such as rhino horn, pangolin scale, elephant ivory, bear bile and gallbladder, and Big Cat species (including tiger, leopard and clouded leopard) were advertised openly on Facebook. 38% of all advertisements found were elephant ivory products, whereas one out of every four account created primarily to sell elephant ivory also selling rhino horn.

 Elephant ivory were also found on Facebook

Elephant ivory were also found on Facebook

Tiger bone, skin, teeth and claws were also advertised, together with clouded leopard, leopard and bears. It is important to note that 88% of the people who commented on these advertisements expressed an interest in purchasing advertised products, most of them are men aged from 25 – 40.

 

Trang Nguyen – WildAct founder and executive director said: "Two years ago I was working in collaboration with WildCRU – Wildlife Conservation Research Unit in Oxford, England and Fauna and Flora International Vietnam to put out camera traps across Vietnam, looking for the clouded leopard. After months of surveying, we didn't get any picture at all. Now I went on Facebook and I found their parts on sale".

 Trang speaks to Brian about the illegal trade of bear parts online

Trang speaks to Brian about the illegal trade of bear parts online

 

Commenting on the selling of bear parts, such as gall, bile and paws, Brian Crudge – Research programme manager, Free the Bears said "Given that the rapid decline in the number of bears kept on farms in Vietnam, it is not surprising that bear products were found traded online. This highlights the on-going demand for bear parts in Vietnam and the continued threat to wild bears throughout the region".

 "We need to recognise that online trade of endangered species is a significant component of illegal wildlife trade and its in contravention of Vietnamese legislation and should be dealt with accordingly" – she added – "We urge Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take immediate action and collaborate with the Vietnamese government as well as NGOs working in Vietnam to tackle this illegal trade of wildlife".

 The conference attracted leaders and senior officers from all around the world to work together to tackle the illegal trade of wildlife. This morning, the Duke of Cambridge also paid a visit to emphasis the important of shutting down the trade.

 

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