29 November 2016
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 29th November 2016—50 leaders and lecturers at Traditional Medicine (TM) schools and universities will help instil the next generation of TM practitioners with an attitude of zero-tolerance towards the consumption of threatened animals and plants in their TM practices following two workshops held recently in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr Trang Quang May, Deputy Director of T5G said, “The Ministry of Health has already removed many illegal or unsustainable products, such as rhino horn, from the TM Pharmacopeia. However, we are still trying to eliminate all illegal and threatened wildlife from the TM sector. The tools we are giving the workshop attendees will help us reach our goal of eradicating illegal wildlife in Vietnamese traditional medicine.”
“With the harsher penalties of the new penal code, the TM community must be proactive and abolish the use of illegal wildlife products. TRAFFIC and T5G are holding this workshop to ensure that TM practitioners protect themselves from the risks associated with illegal wildlife trade by implementing socially responsible practices,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of Office for TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.
“The commitment from these universities to protect threatened wildlife is a crucial element of our strategy to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products, such as rhino horn. University lecturers and students as well as the wider TM community, will be able to use a communications package developed by TRAFFIC and T5G to integrate wildlife protection into their activities and offer alternatives to illegal wildlife products.”
In 2014, TRAFFIC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health to combat illegal wildlife trade over a five-year period. T5G, which is a department of the Ministry of Health, began working with TRAFFIC in 2015 to help change the behaviour of traditional medicine practitioners and protect local and global biodiversity.
TRAFFIC is engaging different areas of Vietnamese society, such as the TM sector and business communities, to reject wildlife that is illegally traded. By shifting consumer behaviour away from threatened wildlife, TRAFFIC augments law enforcement efforts to stop illegal trade. This workshop is an element of TRAFFIC’s two-tiered approach of reducing demand while raising barriers for consumption.
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