A refresher course for journalists on reporting about the conservation and rescue of wild animals began in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on May 21. The two-day event aims to popularise the reality of and reasons for wildlife trafficking, as well as share experiences of reporters and experts and expand the network of journalists reporting on the issue. It is organised by PanNature, a Vietnamese non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and conserving diversity of life.
Pressure from the international donor community and local shareholders, resulted in some successful policy changes, but the new environmental laws failed to provide any legal enforcement to ensure compliance. In fact, five years ago the Environmental Performance Index listed Vietnam in the top ten worst countries for air pollution. Because of Vietnam’s environmental enforcement weakness, a litany of damages to the land and water continues to mount: two thirds of Vietnam’s forests are in decline, mainly due to massive illegal logging; air pollution increases daily due to the growing number of motorbikes; wastewater is released untreated; and industrialization pollutes rivers and streams. It’s no wonder that Vietnam has witnessed the emergence of prominent non-governmental organizations like People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), Centre for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD), ECO Vietnam Group, Green Innovation and Development Centre, and Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW), to name a few.
On November 10, BRIDGE financed a training workshop entitled Reporting on Mekong Dams – Science, Policies and Voices from the Ground in An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. It was organized by Pan Nature, a Vietnamese NGO, to brief journalists on the concerns and perspectives of local stakeholders on planned dams on the Mekong River. Thirty journalists from national and provincial newspapers and radio and television agencies in the delta attended, as will as representatives from academia and NGOs from Vietnam and other Mekong countries.