Success Stories



After more than 15 years of operation, ENV has accrued a growing list of achievements in the battle to protect Vietnam’s wildlife. The impact of its work can be seen across the three main program areas, and the following are a few key highlights.



Combating Wildlife Crime


bear farmer telephone campaign jan 24 2013 500x333Established a means to encourage public reporting of wildlife crimes: In 2005, ENV established the toll-free National Wildlife Crime Hotline 1800 1522 to provide an independent means for the public to report crimes. ENV transfers information to the appropriate authorities and documents and tracks each case through to conclusion. As of November 2017, ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit has logged over 11,600 wildlife crime cases.

sd 2539 tigers incineration in pacific beer company jan 10 2013 binh duong fpd-r 4 500x375Bringing greater transparency to wildlife protection efforts: Previously, local authorities’ performance in dealing with wildlife crimes was largely unaccountable, including their response to public reports of violations, disposal of confiscated wildlife, and punishment administered to violators. Since ENV launched its Wildlife Crime Unit in 2005, it has acted as an independent “watchdog”, working with local authorities and tracking each case through to completion, achieving greater transparency and improved performance, which has led to a major transformation in wildlife protection efforts nationally.   

Mobilized public action: In addition to encouraging the public to report wildlife crimes, ENV has established a national network of volunteers in urban centers throughout the country to actively help monitor business establishments and ensure compliance with wildlife protection laws. ENV’s National Wildlife Protection Network currently has nearly 7,400 volunteers in 59 provinces and active clubs in 17 cities.

Closed major wildlife markets: ENV’s first major success combating wildlife crime was the closure of Dong Xuan wildlife market in Hanoi. In 2006, through sustained efforts and close cooperation with local authorities, ENV was able to close the wildlife market permanently, along with several smaller city markets where wildlife was sold. ENV continues to monitor Hanoi markets today to make sure violations do not resurface.


SD 2898 Released turtle in Bac Lieu Nov 11 2010 Bac Lieu DARD-R 5Successful outcomes on more than 3,600 cases: While not every case leads to a successful outcome, cases reported via the hotline and ENV’s work with local authorities have led to the confiscation of thousands of endangered mammals, birds, and reptiles ranging from bears and marine turtles to leopard cats, lorises, and endangered gibbons and langurs. One case in 2007 led to the seizure and release of the last known living example of the world’s most critically endangered turtle, Swinhoe’s softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), caught by a fisherman in a lake west of Hanoi. Outcomes have also included the closure of businesses, confiscation of animal products such as rhino horn and ivory, voluntary transfers of live animals, and substantial fines administered to violators. 


ENV facilitates cooperation and sharing of information between law enforcement agencies in Vietnam and in other countries on cases involving transnational crimes such as rhino horn and tiger smuggling. Cooperation has led to arrests in foreign countries on major ivory and pangolin cases, and contributed to investigations and prosecution on tiger and rhino horn smuggling cases.  


Reducing Demand and Influencing Attitudes


wlt psa super model ha anh april 3 2012 env-r7 500x333

Reaching millions through television: A total of 30 Public Service Announcements urging the public not to consume bear bile, rhino horn, or other wildlife products, have been produced and aired on national and provincial television and reached a large segment of Vietnam’s 90 million people. Many of these PSAs feature famous national music, film, and sports celebrities including ENV’s Wildlife Protection Ambassador, pop star My Linh.

On the air with ENV: As of April 2017, ENV has aired more than 4,200 advertisements on the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) radio, reaching millions of listeners nationwide and urging people not to consume wildlife and to report wildlife crimes. Since 2005, ENV has also aired a VOV monthly radio show on the illegal wildlife trade, discussing important issues such as rhino horn and tiger trade, highlighting recent news relating to enforcement, and encouraging the public not to consume wildlife.  

tvh interview vietnam bear day sept 13 2012 env-r 4 500x333Keeping issues hot in the media: ENV maintains a network of more than 570 national journalists and actively participates in almost-weekly television and print media interviews. ENV also produces press releases and statements on key issues, resulting in hundreds of articles and TV news stories each year through which ENV is able to convey our wildlife protection message to a broad cross-section of the public. 

Interacting with people on the ground: ENV’s Mobile Awareness and Outreach Team has hosted more than 640 public events throughout the country aimed at encouraging the public not to consume wildlife products, and to get actively involved in wildlife protection. ENV has also conducted a total of 137 wildlife protection seminars at universities nationwide for more than an estimated 13,000 students, as well as hosted events focused on wildlife protection for local government officials, youth unions, tourist guides, community leaders, and other special interest groups. 

bear artworkEnding bear farming and trade: ENV, in partnership with World Animal Protection, has led national efforts to reduce consumption of bear bile and bring an end to bear farming and trade in Vietnam. This major campaign involves a combination of enforcement measures focused on illegal trade in bears and bear products, legislative and policy interventions to close loopholes and strengthen laws, and awareness activities aimed at reducing consumer demand for bear bile. Some examples of major ENV events include:

  • A poster competition focused on ending bear farming hosted by ENV resulted in 96,000 artwork entries, some of which are still used today in exhibits and for educational resources.  
  • More than 160,000 pledges have been collected from the public committing to not consume bear bile. ENV hosted the country’s first National Bear Day in September 2012 with 50 top national celebrities joining forces with ENV in calling for an end to bear farming in Vietnam.
  • Since 2006, more than 178 public events focusing on bears have been held in markets, at universities, and in public forums. 


tap crowd 4 11-17-05 500x375Developing educational activities at parks and nature reserves throughout Vietnam: ENV has conducted 75 environmental communication training courses for more than 1,100 park staff, teachers, and community stakeholders at 46 national parks and nature reserves in Vietnam, as well as for educators from Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar (March 2013). ENV’s training programs have served to inspire the growth and sustainability of community-based awareness activities throughout the country. ENV has also been fortunate in its ability to support activities through more than 21 Green Grants awarded to inspiring awareness activities focused on communities bordering parks and protected areas throughout Vietnam. In partnership with local teachers, ENV staff members have delivered a total of 2,550 environmental awareness lesson plans to an estimated 75,500 middle school students.


Policy and Legislation


sun bear at pu mat may 14 2007 7 500x333ENV’s policy and legislative team has been instrumental in closing loopholes in national wildlife protection laws and securing favorable policy decisions on key issues concerning critically endangered species. For example:

  • Lobbying for the speedier transfer to competent authorities of animals confiscated as a result of crime as soon as inspection has taken place in order to avoid animals dying while waiting for a final court decision as has happened previously.
  • Actively contributed to the development of wildlife-related articles of the new Penal Code of Vietnam including the inclusion of “possession” of endangered wildlife as one of the offenses under the new Penal Code. Additionally, heavier punishments are introduced to the Code and violations involving common species and other less endangered species are also treated as criminal punishments according to ENV’s recommendations.
  • Participating in the drafting process of the newly introduced Law on Forestry and the Law on Fisheries to ensure no overlaps with current legislation on biodiversity. 
  • Intervening in wildlife crimes at an early stage and ensuring prosecutions of wildlife criminals, including prosecutions of the leaders of two major wildlife crime networks, leading to positive precedents in the application of the law. 
  • Excluding species listed under Decree 160/2013/ND-CP (D160 species) from the scope of Decree 157/2013/ND-CP on administrative penalties imposed on violations involving forest animals (Decree 157), reflected in Decree 40/2015/ND-CP (Decree 157 revision). This exclusion has ensured prosecution of crimes involving D160 species under the Penal Code without overlap with Decree 157. Moreover, the number of species under Group IB of Decree 32/2006/ND-CP and Appendix I of CITES are used as the basis to determine the severity of administrative penalties under Decree 41/2017/ND-CP (Decree 157 revision) rather than the animals’ value. 
  • Adding the acts of raising and keeping endangered, rare and precious aquatic species as violations under Decree 103/2013/ND-CP on administrative penalties imposed on violations involving aquatic species (Decree 103). In addition, the sanctioned levels were categorized according to the protection level of species and the number of specimens according to ENV's suggestions. Later, during the revision of Decree 103 in 2016, ENV lobbied for violations involving CITES appendix-listed aquatic species to be included. Furthermore, as there are many species listed under multiple protection lists with varying levels of penalties under Decree 103, to avoid difficulty in application of this decree, ENV also recommended adopting the same penalty applicable to species listed under Appendix I CITES, species prohibited from exploitation, and critically endangered species under Decision 82/2008/QD-BNN.  
  • Enforcing the ban that prohibits owners from keeping illegal bears on farms after administrative fines have been issued. 
  • Bringing an end to the common practice of auctioning tiger parts and pangolins following seizure. Despite prohibition by the law, this was widely practised prior to ENV’s intervention.
  • Providing inputs and revisions to new legislation, including the recent successful reduction in the number of “common” wildlife species permitted to be farmed and exploited for commercial purposes from 353 species to 160 species in a new circular issued in 2012.
  • Securing favorable decisions from provincial leaders on dozens of top priority cases resulting in new precedents and support in addressing major crimes and disposition of confiscated wildlife.




·      Bringing an end to the common practice of auctioning tiger parts and pangolins following seizure. Despite prohibition by the law, this was widely practised prior to ENV’s intervention.


+1 #2 diana w 2017-05-27 10:15
ENV's work is proof that working with national and local authorities, working to change attitudes among children and adults and changing the law, can give wildlife a chance. Please continue your AMAZING WORK... Sending support for your efforts from here in England.
0 #1 Nguyen 2017-05-09 07:37