A One Health Approach to Wildlife Trade and Policy in Viet Nam

WCS Viet Nam
Published: 07 November 2022
Last edited: 07 November 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic, which is widely recognized as originating in a market selling live wildlife in China, has caused the deaths of millions of people and major impacts on livelihoods, society, and economies across the world. Conditions increasing risk for emergence of zoonoses from wildlife are not unique to China. They are prevalent in wild animal value chains across the globe, including in Viet Nam, where wildlife is commonly traded for meat, pets, skins, traditional medicine, and for display in private collections. Disease surveillance along wildlife trade chains in Viet Nam has increased awareness of potential public health risks, but much trade continues and the risk of zoonoses' emergence and transmission remains. An increasing body of scientific data supports multi-sectoral coordination and an evidence-based approach to strengthening policy on illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in Viet Nam to address the risk of zoonotic spillover, with resulting co-benefits for biodiversity and human health. 


Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate evergreen forest
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Food security
Health and human wellbeing
Legal & policy frameworks
Local actors
Not listed
One Health
Outreach & communications
Poaching and environmental crime
Protected and conserved areas governance
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Science and research
Species management
Sustainable livelihoods
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Status Assessment
Wildlife Health Surveillance (to capture biodiversity, health, disease, and pathogen surveillance)
Species Monitoring and Research
Species Disease Early warning systems
Species Conservation Planning
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Risk assessment
Outbreak investigation and access to laboratory
One Health coordination mechanism
One Health
Animal health
Biodiversity-health nexus
Food systems
Good governance of landscapes
Health effects of climate change and pollution
Health related aspects of socio-economic factors such as poverty, education, social security structures, digitalisation, financing systems, human capacity development 
Neglected tropical diseases, emerging infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance
Wildlife trade and human-wildlife conflicts
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Vector and water borne diseases
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Physical resource extraction
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of food security
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of technical capacity
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 3: Incentives reformed
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction
Target 13: Safeguarding genetic diversity
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources
Sendai Framework
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP by 2030
Target 5: Increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030
Target 7: Increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030
Business engagement approach
Indirect through government


Hanoi, Vietnam


This solution addresses challenges to biodiversity conservation and increased risk of disease spillover posed by conditions along the wildlife trade chain. Wildlife supply chains involve conditions that present a high risk for the emergence, amplification, and transmission of zoonotic pathogens which can lead to outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. Live and freshly killed mammals and birds are of particular concern, being main hosts of emerging viral zoonoses, and more prone to shed pathogens when highly stressed. Emergence and amplification risks are greatest in urban and peri-urban markets, where crowding of live wildlife and fresh meat from different species, close to larger numbers of people and other animals, provides ideal conditions for recombination, sharing, and shedding of pathogens and transmission to humans. Few urban consumers depend on wild meat for dietary needs or food security, mainly purchasing or consuming wild meat as a luxury. 


Science-based approaches support sound policy choices, benefitting threatened wildlife and the global human population through biodiversity conservation and lowered risk of economic and health crises from spillover of zoonoses. 

How do the building blocks interact?

Developing collaborative, cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary, multi-agency One Health frameworks is essential to build effective wildlife surveillance networks as well as to share information and develop trust and understanding of emerging health risks from wildlife in order to implement evidence-based policy change.


Viet Nam banned importation of wildlife in January 2020, in response to COVID-19, and called for heightened enforcement of existing laws on IWT in the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s Directive No. 29 on “urgent solutions to manage wildlife”. In 2020, government representatives, multi-laterals (FAO, WHO, UNEP), NGOs and multiple embassies collaborated through a Pandemic Prevention Task Force and met with the Prime Minister, aiming to reduce risks of pandemic emergence from wildlife trade in Viet Nam by phasing out the commercial trade of wild birds and mammals. Subsequently, a technical working group on “wildlife and pandemics” was established under a three-Ministry One Health partnership platform, the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), and a Master Plan for the One Health Partnership Framework for Zoonoses, 2021-2025 was established and signed by WCS, and 30 national and international partners.  The Government of Viet Nam has since revised a number of decrees addressing animal health, public health, food safety, and wildlife management with the aim of mitigating the risks and impacts of future pandemics, including Decree 14 (2021) regulating penalties for offenses involving animal husbandry, and Decree 07 (2022) increasing sanctions for violating wildlife trade laws and regulations.

Contributed by

lKeatts_41893's picture

Lucy Keatts WCS

Other contributors

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Viet Nam
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Viet Nam