Press release: Viet Nam celebrates 20th Anniversary of Joining CITES and highlights its increased enforcement effort


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Viet Nam celebrates 20th Anniversary of Joining CITES and highlights
its increased enforcement effort

CITES Secretary-General meets Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister in Ha Noi and attends
9th meeting of ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai of Viet Nam meeting
CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon

Geneva/Ha Noi, 28 May 2014 – Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat and Deputy Minister Vu Tan Tam met CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, in Ha Noi on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of Viet Nam joining CITES to discuss the enhanced enforcement efforts being taken by Viet Nam to combat illegal wildlife trade and to supress demand for illegally traded products.

In his speech at the official function to celebrate the 20th Anniversary, Mr. Scanlon noted the many and varied challenges faced by Viet Nam and noted with great appreciation Viet Nam’s domestic efforts to address these challenges, in particular since the last meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES held in Bangkok in 2013.

“The Prime Minister’s recent Directive to strengthen wildlife enforcement effort across all Ministries, sectors and local authorities and to stop the demand for illegally traded products – together with the development of the Action Plan to support it – represents a major milestone in CITES implementation in Viet Nam” said Scanlon. 

Scanlon also noted Viet Nam’s intention to implement the ICCWC (International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime) Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit and that it had incorporated CITES priorities into its revised (draft) National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), which includes combating illegal wildlife trade and will open up opportunities to attract GEF funding.

To see the full speech click here.

Ninth meeting of ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network

While in Ha Noi Mr. Scanlon addressed the ASEAN WEN Partnership Workshop as well as the 9th Meeting of ASEAN WEN.  He noted that combatting illegal wildlife trade requires a collective effort at national, regional and global levels and described ASEAN WEN as a leader amongst the growing network of wildlife enforcement networks.

“To be fully effective we must involve development and financing agencies, as well as the non-government sector and local communities, in our collective efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade” said Scanlon. “Through recognizing the impacts that illegal wildlife trade has on local communities, national economies, security and sustainable development, additional resources will flow to combat this highly destructive activity” he added.


CITES belongs to the first wave of global environmental treaties, being adopted in Washington D.C. in 1973, and it was the first one to have entered into force in July 1975.

Viet Nam joined CITES in 1994 and it was the 121st Party to the Convention, which today has 180 States Parties.

Heads of State and governments at Rio+20, held in June 2012, recognized (in the outcome document, The Future We Want), the important role of CITES as an international agreement that stands at the intersection between trade, the environment and development.

Note to editors: For more information, contact Juan Carlos Vasquez at +41 22 917 8156 or [email protected].


With 180 Member States, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, housing, health care, ecotourism, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.

CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973.

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