From 18 to 20 Octorber 2018 , Save Vietnam’s Wildlife in collaboration with Pu Mat National Park and District’s People Committee successfully organized three workshops titled “Strengthening inter-sectoral cooperation in promoting enforcement of wildlife protection in Pu Mat National Park” in 3 districts of Tuong Duong, Anh Son and Con Cuong in Nghe An province.

A one-day workshop was held in three districts majorly surrounded by Pu Mat forest, in which Con Cuong district has the largest forest area. The workshop received enthusiastic participation from 300 delegates, especially deputy secretaries and vice presidents of the districts: Mr. Kha Van Ot – Vice Chairman of Tuong Duong District; Mr. Vi Duc Hoai – Deputy secretary of Con Cuong district; Mr. Lo Van Thao – Vice Chairman of Con Cuong district; Mr. Nguyen Van Son – Deputy Secretary of Anh Son District; Mr. Dang Dinh Luan – Chief of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Anh Son District; Mr. Trần Xuân Cường – Director of Pu Mat National Park, Mr. Nguyen Van Thai – Executive Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, and leaders of the local authority of communes in the buffer zone.

The morning session’s presentations have delivered to the delegates and guests some background information on the current state of wildlife, the threats they are facing, law enforcement efforts and reasons why we have to protect wildlife. Key highlights of the presentations include:

Pu Mat National Park’s biodiversity is crucial to many endangered wildlife species who should be prioritized for conservation. (Mr. Nguyen Sy Quoc, Science Officer Pu Mat National Park)

However, the situation of snaring, hunting, drying of bamboo shoots, bee-burning, camping, and illegal wildlife trade are currently threatening the habitat of many endangered animals in Pu Mat forest. (Mr. Le Van Dung, Field Research Manager and Daniel Willcox, Science Advisor, SVW).

Social studies have shown that people living in Pu Mat National Park are supposedly dependent on forest resources. According to their opinions, other solutions for their alternative livelihoods should be considered and developed, as well as different campaigns to raise awareness about wildlife and wildlife protection law. (Le Thi Hai Yen, SVW Community-based Coordinator).

Not only does wildlife hunting affect our ecology, health, and economics, but also the culture of the community. The protection of Pu Mat Forest should start from the workshop’s delegates, along with children of Pumat themselves, whose actions must come from one’s conscience and morality. (Mr. Nguyen Van Thai – Executive Director of SVW).

The morning session left many participants speechless with touching stories about the rescued animals’ long journey to return their home. (Ho Thi Kim Lan, SVW Education Outreach Manager).

In the afternoon, the participants discussed solutions to effectively handled illegal wildlife hunting and trafficking activities, promote sustainable economic development and educate people about wildlife protection.

The delegates came to conclusion about key responsibilities in the coming time:

  • Inter-sectoral cooperation should include the development of an inter-sectoral system, the establishment of a joint patrol group, an inspection plan for restaurants and individuals engaged in illegal wildlife trafficking; as well as strict enforcement of these activities.
  • Carry out education outreach programs for local communities about wildlife and wildlife protection; boycott restaurants selling wildlife, encourage people to expose and report any illegal activities.
  • Continue to develop economic development programs, work with local communities to select sustainable model solutions suitable for the local situation, and limit the exploitation of forest resources in Pu Mat National Park.

“Together we stand up for Pu Mat forest” – as in the workshop’s ultimate goal to cultivate conservation efforts and actions in each person.

At the end of the workshop, leaders from the District People’s Committee agreed to sign the workshop’s minutes and propose measures to be implemented in the future.