Demand for wildlife products such as rhino horn in Viet Nam and other Asian countries is driving the poaching crisis in Africa.
The Chi initiative, launched by TRAFFIC and Save the Rhino International more than two years ago in September 2014, continues to actively tackle the demand for illegal rhino horn in Viet Nam. The Chi, or “Strength of Will” initiative was developed to change the most prolific consumers of rhino horn in Viet Nam. Research demonstrates that it is the wealthy urban men and women who often own or work for profitable businesses consume rhino horn in a display of wealth and status. Only 6% of these rhino horn consumers believe that rhino horn can cure terminal diseases.
Key strategic partnerships like with the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) have been critical to engage with this business community and find champions who positively influence their peers to integrate a zero-tolerance to rhino horn consumption. Since the launch of the campaign, VCCI, has proven to be a powerful ally. TRAFFIC and VCCI have held joint workshops and events to infuse Chi and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy into the business community in Vietnam. To date, there have been over 240 workshops and events spearheading the Chi message and CSR practices. Data shows that over two years we have reached 87% of the target audience and this is reflected in the results: reaching 5,600 trained individuals and over 11,000 business people, many of whom have signed the pledge of zero-tolerance towards consumption of rhino horn and other threatened species.
Celebrating this success, Save the Rhino provided additional funding to TRAFFIC and VCCI to run an additional workshop on May 24th 2017. This workshop “Enterprises lead social responsibility to integrate zero-tolerance toward wildlife consumption” engaged over 30 Vietnamese small and medium businesses. The participants learned about the impact of wildlife crime on business and risk to reputation and pledged to integrate zero-tolerance of threatened wildlife consumption into their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. Furthermore, they were introduced to the shocking facts of wildlife crime and consumption in Viet Nam. These representatives now joined 11,000 individuals in Viet Nam and beyond, who are taking a stand against the consumption of threatened wildlife, such as rhino horn.
“The growing team of key opinion leaders who have established a responsible corporate culture are showing exemplary leadership by taking a strong stance against wildlife crime. These influential companies are showing how the Vietnamese business community can enhance its reputation and oppose wildlife trafficking at the same time.”
Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam Office.