Vietnam Urged to Destroy 25-Ton Ivory Stockpile

Vietnam's first wildlife conservation NGO, Education for Nature-Vietnam, is urging authorities to destroy the country's ivory stockpile. PHOTO: Rhishja Cota-Larson
Vietnam’s first wildlife conservation NGO, Education for Nature-Vietnam, is urging authorities to destroy the country’s ivory stockpile. PHOTO: Rhishja Cota-Larson

Local NGO Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) has released a statement calling for the destruction of the country’s 25-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory.

Nguyen Phuong Dung, Vice Director of ENV, says she would like to see Vietnam follow the examples set by Gabon, Kenya, Philippines, United States, and mainland China. Hong Kong recently committed to incinerating 28 tons of its stockpile, as did France.

“We totally support the incineration of ivory because it communicates a strong message against the elephant tusk trade all over the world. If the ivory is auctioned (which means legalizing the trade), the market for ivory will continue to be fed and the authorities will meet numerous difficulties in distinguishing between legal and illegal products.”

ENV, which was the country’s first wildlife conservation NGO, reports that the statement has since been published by more than 20 major newspapers in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, a Vietnamese national is among three people arrested in connection with this week’s 1.7 ton ivory seizure in the West African country of Togo. The illicit cargo was headed to Vietnam.

In December 2013, a Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced the director and vice director of an import/export company to three years imprisonment for their involvement in smuggling 2.4 tons of ivory into Vietnam.



Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.