After a week of hard work, collaborating with other NGOs, lobbying all CITES parties, Thai, Save Vietnam’s Executive Director, finally witnessed the victory moment for Pangolins: four Asian and four African species were moved to Appendix I. He shared his thoughts afterwards: “We would like to thank all parties who made a great contribution for pangolin conservation efforts. Thank you to all organizations who worked very hard to achieved our mission.”
These are some benefits from Appendix I for pangolins:
- international trade for wild specimens is banned
- greater protection in all countries
- clear messages to consumers
- increases the domestic protection for enforcement priority for the species as many CITES parties use CITES to apply national law
- reduce the complexity of enforcing our national laws, will reduce the workload associated with the interception of pangolin products as all punishments will be the same
- more investment from government and NGOs to address issues to save the species from extinction.
It is the first time ever that all NGOs shared the same goal to work hard to support the uplisting of all 8 pangolin species to CITES Appendix I. At the CITES CoP17 – South Africa, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife presented evidence of the increasing pangolin trade and the high demand of pangolin meat and scales in Asia. We also actively lobbied the CITES parties to help them understand the seriousness of the pangolin crisis so that they would support pangolin conservation. Before CoP17, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife also presented on the challenges of pangolin conservation at the first pangolin range start meeting in Vietnam, Sixty-fifth meeting of the Standing Committee – Switzerland, and the IUCN Wildlife Conservation Congress – Hawaii. Uplisting all 8 pangolin species to Appendix I is a victory for us and for other organizations and parties.
The uplisting is not a solution to the wildlife trade but it is vital first step in combatting the trade. We, along with other Vietnamese NGOs will be working to ensure that enforcement is strengthened so that these new regulations will be implemented.