Nearly 150 wild Vietnamese animal species are categorised and described in a Danish-supported newly puplished Pictorial Guide. The book is one of the first of its kind in Vietnam. It was put together to help enforce wildlife trade legislation, allowing officers to quickly identify the species they encounter. It shows the typical features of the species to be identified. 100 officials from the Forest Protection Department, Market Control, Customs and National Parks made contributions to an earlier and shorter guide book produced by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, in 2000.
The book’s launch was held yesterday in Hanoi by the department and TRAFFIC’S Greater Mekong Programme to announce it as a tool for wildlife trade enforcement agencies and was attended by scientists, international and local NGOs, enforcement agencies and government officials.
“This book has seen extensive collaborations between the department, TRAFFIC, the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resource and the enforcement agencies. We’re counting on this strengthening effort to combat the illegal wildlife trade,” said Lasse Melgaard, the environment counsellor from the Danish Embassy, a donor behind the project.
Forest Protection Department director Ha Cong Tuan discusses the book’s strength in his preface, saying “the book is simple and follows a user-friendly format to help reduce identification challenges”.
The first 1,000 books, funded by the Danish Embassy and supported technically by the institute, will be mailed to enforcement officials, Market Control, Customs, the Environmental Police and the National Parks.