NGOs teach Vietnam students about illegal wildlife trade

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The World Wildlife Fund and wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC is teaching students about the illegal wildlife trade at 12 junior high schools in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

The program is designed to help stop the illegal trade of wildlife in Vietnam.

The project will work in secondary schools as organizers consider the teenage years the best point at which to reach students about  the necessity of protecting wildlife. The students are already equipped with basic knowledge about nature in several regular classes at school.

The extra classes under the program provide additional knowledge about endangered species, the current status-quo of wildlife trafficking and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), on which Vietnam is a signatory.

Thua Thien-Hue Education and Training Department and the province Forest Management Department will help organize the courses.

Van Ngoc Thinh, local director of the project, said that though Thua Thien-Hue is not a hotspot for wildlife illegal trade, it still offered a route for the illegal trade between Laos and Cambodia to Vietnam. China is the final destination for most of the illegally caught and killed animals.

"Education (about wildlife protection) here has a very important meaning as it will directly intervene in the wildlife illegal transport and trade," he said.

The program was tried at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Junior High on Saturday.

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