Endangered animals are being exploited by humans to make illegal products, traditional medicines and to be treated as pets, all for the sake of enhancing social status, pursuing health myths, or providing entertainment. ENV (Education for Nature Vietnam) strives to protect endangered wildlife by providing a toll free hotline as a means for the public to report crimes, facilitating wildlife rescues, supporting authorities to catch criminals, and promoting prosecution of wildlife traffickers.
Since the beginning of 2021, over 955 kg of pangolin scales, 148 kg of rhino horn and 29 live tigers have been seized, indicating that Vietnam is still a key player in international wildlife trafficking networks and a major back door into China. Covid-19 poses challenges in Vietnam due to frequent lockdowns, a likely increase in cybercrime, delays in law enforcement and greater difficulty recruiting wildlife protection volunteers and monitoring crimes.
ENV protects endangered wildlife by educating the public via awareness campaigns and viral crime deterrence ads that can reach people in their homes. Cybercrime campaigns discover specific species being advertised for sale on social media. We continue to work closely with law enforcement to address Covid-related challenges and offer support in dealing with wildlife crimes during the "new normal". We provide virtual training for volunteers to maintain momentum through the pandemic.
Just this year, our team has handled over 2,658 cases, leading to many arrests and over 538 live animals being rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam. We aim to continue to expand our influence in 2022 in the face of Covid-19. ENV's past collective experiences have taught us where to put the pressure to facilitate change, and we have used this to create '10 Critical Actions to Tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Vietnam', which will guide future progress.