News Brief (E408,March 17, 2011)
Travel companies threatened with closure over bear bile tours
On March 1, after receiving ENV’s Wildlife Crime Bulletin featuring an article about the bear owners in Quang Ninh who continued to extract bear bile for Korean tourists, the Quang Ninh Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism issued a circular No: 282/svhttdl-ttr instructing tourist agencies, head offices and branches of any tourist agencies in Quang Ninh not to take tourists to bear-keeping places, to inform and warn tourists not to visit bear farms, buy bear bile or bear products as this breaks Vietnam law and CITES regulations on international trade of wildlife. Tour guides who take tourists to bear farms will be identified and strictly dealt with.
On March 11, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism issued an instruction No. 210/TCDL-LH to all provincial Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism that prohibits organizing any tours to bear farms. International travel companies were also warned they could lose the company’s International Travel Business License if they continue organizing tours of this type.
The instructions involved:
Nghe An: Asiatic bear cub confiscated
On March 7, an Asiatic black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) cub, weighing approximately 2 kg, was confiscated whilst being transported in a bus from Laos. The confiscation resulted from cooperation between the Police and the FPD in Ky Son district, Nghe An province. The local FPD temporarily kept the bear. However, on March 16 before the bear cub could be transferred to the rescue center it died due to poor health and the cold weather. Authorities have temporarily detained the suspect involved in the case.
Bear is a rare species listed in group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP - the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be exploited or used for commercial purposes.
Information provided by Ky Son district FPD
Ho Chi Minh City: Seizure of a rare Northern white-cheeked gibbon
On March 10, a Northern white-cheeked gibbon (Hylobates concolor leucogennys) was seized and transferred to Cu Chi Rescue Center with the cooperation of Ho Chi Minh City’s Environmental Police and the Forest Protection Department (FPD). The local residents found the gibbon hiding in the bushes.
The Northern white-cheeked gibbon is a rare species listed in group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP - the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be exploited or used for commercial purposes.
Quang Nam: Two dead elephants found in Na Lau forest
According to the online newspaper, Thiennhien.net, two dead elephants, without tusks and tails, were found by a local resident in Na Lau valley, Quang Ngai province. The elephants had been dead for some time, however, local authorities and FPD were unaware of this. Authorities are continuing with their investigation into the cause of death of these elephants.
The project of planning forest to protect the rare wild elephant was approved by the provincial People’s Committee in 2007 but efforts to protect the elephant remain unchanged.
Quang Ngai: Exploitation of highly valuable red-wood timber
Recently, there has been strong interest in the exploitation of Red-wood timber (Dalbergia tonkinensis) by people in Ba To district, Quang Ngai province due to the high economic value of this wood species. The exploitation is causing mountain erosion in the area and also loss of security in the town as people become increasingly interested in the commercial value of this wood. Many people have established groups or hired people to dig the red-wood timber and its root to sell to wood traders. A local resident even sold his grandfather’s coffin made of red-wood timber.
Gia Lai, Binh Dinh: Poachers exploiting forests
Poachers have been able to exploit thousands of cubic meters of forest by taking unfair advantage of permits that allow them to transfer the exploitation of forest wood to the planting of rubber trees. Local authorities have been unaware of this issue. The leaders of Gia Lai province said that it is necessary to strictly deal with the poachers and responsible local authorities, however, no local authority has yet received disciplinary measures for allowing poachers to exploit the forests.
In a similar situation, forests in Binh Dinh province have been seriously exploited by poachers due to the lack of rangers.
Binh Dinh: Lam tac tan sat rung
Nguyen Bich Ngoc
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)