One spectacular discovery in 1992 was without doubt the Saola. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years and one of the most spectacular zoological discoveries of the 20th century. This incredible biodiversity is however threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation as well as widespread illegal hunting. Once being abundant in Viet Nam, the population of the iconic Asian elephants has been reduced to a few hundreds. Sadly, Viet Nam is a major source, transit and end destination for trafficked wildlife. The illegal wildlife trade is worth an estimated 8-10 billion USD p.a. in Southeast Asia and severely affects species native to the region as well as species from overseas like rhinos and African elephants.
WWF-Viet Nam is focusing its conservation efforts on Elephants and Saolas. By focusing on, and achieving conservation of these 2 species, the status of many other species which share the same habitat – or are vulnerable to the same threats - may also be improved. WWF-Viet Nam is also addressing the poaching, trading and consumption of local and regional species which are consumed as wild meat delicacies.
WWF’s strategy relies on the following pillars:
- PA management effectiveness: zero poaching threat achieved for Saola at critical locations, leading to ongoing detection from at least three sites; management effectiveness standards introduced to all Protected Areas; Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool scores >75% and Conservation Oriented Patrol Standards >90%,
- Tackling illegality: convictions and arrest rates for illegal hunting and logging increase by 50% in priority landscapes; demand for rhino horn consumption in Viet Nam is reduced by 50% by 2020
- Trans-boundary co-operation: the trans-boundary conservation issues are addressed through strengthened cooperation between Viet Nam and Lao PDR and Viet Nam and Cambodia,
- Habitat restoration: the integrity of biodiversity corridors and critical habitats (including forests, wetlands) are conserved, maintained and restored in the priority landscapes through zero forest loss and zero critical habitat degradation and conversion,
Addressing poverty & livelihoods: effective community-based conservation models have been integrated into land-use plans, demonstrating strong results to sustainable natural resource management and livelihood development.
Illegal Wildlife Trafficking
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