New technology helps local law enforcement officers in Vietnam protect wildlife

WildScan Vietnamthumb

WildScan Vietnamgroup

On November 3rd more than 70 law enforcement officers from different ministries and central agencies in Vietnam and staff from protected areas and national parks, took part in a training workshop for WildScan, a mobile phone application to support ongoing efforts to stop the trade of illegal wildlife.

WildScan is a comprehensive species identification and response mobile application designed to combat wildlife trafficking. The application provides an effective tool for front-line enforcement agencies, wildlife conservation officers, and the general public to correctly identify, report and handle marine, freshwater and terrestrial animals caught in the illegal wildlife trade. After a pilot phase to test the application in Vietnam, the application has been upgraded to include nearly 40 additional species under Vietnam’s list of endangered, rare and precious animals prioritized for protection, based on feedback and suggestions from relevant agencies.

WildScan VietnamgroupThe WildScan application training workshop was organized by the Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) under the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). The development of WildScan and the workshop was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Freeland as part of the Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) program.

“Applying new technology to combat illegal wildlife trade is a practical and effective method to protect wildlife” Dr. Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, BCA Deputy Director General said. “Through this training workshop, we hope the WildScan application will be used widely and become a useful tool to link law enforcement agencies and the whole society in biodiversity conservation, and to combat wildlife extinction”.

WildScan is a product of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), a regional network of all 10 ASEAN countries through which law enforcement officials share information and work together to combat transnational wildlife crime.

For more information, please contact:
Ha Thi Minh Thang
Program Officer
Biodiversity Conservation Agency
hathiminhthang@gmail.com

Matthew Pritchett, Director of Communications, Freeland, matthew@freeland.org
+66 2 254 8321 ext 121

Notes to editor:
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient societies to realize their potential. Following 50 years of improving lives through development and humanitarian assistance, USAID is the principal U.S. Government development agency partnering with countries throughout the world to promote peace, prosperity and security.
Please visit www.usaid.gov or follow www.facebook.com/USAIDAsia and @USAIDAsia on Twitter for more information.

The Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) is a department of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA), a subsidiary body of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). BCA advises and assists MONRE in the state management of biodiversity resources in Vietnam, including conservation and sustainable development. BCA is responsible for the development and submission of policies, strategies and plans on environment and biodiversity; implementing nationwide monitoring and assessment of biodiversity; providing guidance on the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems, and the conservation of species and genetic resources; raising public awareness and conducting education and training on nature and biodiversity conservation; implementing various projects relating to biodiversity conservation;and monitoring Vietnam’s adherence to several biodiversity-related international conventions.

Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Our team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people. Freeland is also the lead implementing partner of ‘ARREST’, the U.S. Government’s largest counter-wildlife trafficking program, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more info, visit www.freeland.org also; follow Freeland on twitter @FREELANDpeople or facebook.com/freelandfoundation. Freeland is a member of Liberty Alliance, www.liberty-alliance.org.

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