The Illegal wildlife trade remains one of the greatest threats to biodiversity: Africa’s and Asia's rhinos are being poached due to the high demand for rhino horn. Demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has been identified as one of the biggest drivers of poaching. Decisions taken by CITES Parties in 2013 compel the Government of Vietnam to improve law enforcement, curtail rhino horn consumption and engage in demand reduction.
Decisions of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in effect after its 16th meeting (March 2013) that were directed to Viet Nam
16.86 Viet Nam should:
a) make progress with the development and implementation of the South Africa – Viet Nam 2012-to-2017 Joint Action Plan, including strengthening management of imported rhino horn trophies, and to improve investigations and prosecutions of Vietnamese nationals suspected of illegally possessing or trading in rhino horn, as referenced in document CoP16 Inf. 24; and specifically to include:
i) development of legislation on the domestic management of imported rhino horn trophies addressing the issue of alteration and transfer of rhino horn trophies pursuant to the national laws and CITES Resolutions; and
ii) establishment of a secure registration database to track legal rhino horn trophies;
b) conduct consumer behaviour research to develop and implement demand reduction strategies or programmes aimed at reducing the consumption of rhino horn products;
c) provide a comprehensive report on progress made to the Secretariat by 31 January 2014, with regard to steps taken to effectively implement the requirements of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15), and include:
i) an update on arrests, seizures, prosecutions and penalties for offences related to illegal rhinoceros horn possession and trade in Viet Nam since CoP16;
ii) the effectiveness of Decision 112, reported in document CoP16 Inf. 24, to prevent illegal rhino horn trade; and
iii) any other on-going activities and measures implemented to combat illegal killing of rhinoceros and illegal rhinoceros horn trade.
See the full recommendations from COP 16 http://www.cites.org/eng/dec/valid16/E16-Dec.pdf
To read the CITES Secretariat report on Rhinoceros species trade and conservation for the 65th CITES Standing Committee see here
To read the report from the Kasane Conference 2015 on Illegal Wildlife Trade see here