Did you know that the last rhino in Vietnam was killed in 2010? The female, estimated to be between 15 and
25 years old, was shot by a poacher.
Rhinos are killed for their horns which can be worth more per kilo than gold. Used in all sorts of traditional
medicine potions and remedies, rhino horn is widely used to treat a variety of ailments, including cancer. Studies
have indicated that keratin, the main ingredient in rhino horn, which is also found in human hair and fingernails,
has no medicinal properties whatsoever.
What can we do about it? Don’t fret – there is still hope for other species.
Together with our partners we are continuously working to save species such as rhinos from going extinct by
empowering law enforcement officers. With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID)-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) program, the Freeland
team developed and refined a training manual called DETECT, which has been translated into Vietnamese and
tailored by local enforcement authorities, to give officers a fighting chance against the poachers and organized
crime syndicates targeting endangered species.
Hope for Vietnam’s Wildlife: DETECT Manual Empowers Officers
The Vietnam People’s Police Academy (PPA) is playing a leading role in combating wildlife crime in order to save
the country’s natural heritage. Support provided by USAID under the program known as ARREST has bolstered
the PPA’s role in this field. One of the program’s major outcomes was the production of a new Vietnamese
language version training manual called DETECT. Adapted to the country’s environment and culture, the manual
gives students a firm grounding in investigating wildlife crimes, from carrying out surveillance and gathering
evidence, to arresting suspects and analyzing crime scenes. Now that fighting such crimes has become a priority
for the PPA, the manual, which has become institutionalized into the Academy’s teaching programs and widely
disseminated to training centers across the country, is already proving to be a valuable tool to empower the
police force in Vietnam to fight wildlife crime.
USAID’s Largest Counter Wildlife Trafficking Program Highlights Achievements this September in Bangkok
The main accomplishments of the ARREST Program, together with lessons learned and the many tools and
legacies of the program, will be presented at a press conference held in Bangkok on September 15 at 11 a.m.,
with key ARREST partners from across Asia, including representatives from government agencies, NGOs, and
members of the local and international media. USAID encourages everyone to join the event at the Foreign
Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, located on the top floor of the Maneeya Center Building, next to the Chitlom
BTS station. For more information, please contact Freeland, the lead implementing partner of ARREST, at