Changing attitudes of rhino horn consumers in Vietnam

Image shows two Vietnamese officers showing seized rhino horn.

To stop rhino poaching, we need to tackle its root cause: consumer demand for rhino horn. Without consumer demand, there will be no incentive for poachers or traffickers.

In the key consumer and trafficking countries for rhino horn – Vietnam and China – high demand and low enforcement of wildlife crime are driving the illegal trade and poaching of rhinos.

Thanks to your donations, we’ve been supporting the work of a Vietnamese organisation, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), to employ creative and innovative strategies to reduce consumer demand for rhino horn in the country. ENV’s initiatives are helping to influence attitudes and mobilise Vietnamese citizens to take action and protect rhinos.

Public adverts
Education for Nature Vietnam is delivering wildlife conservation messages to the Vietnamese public through public announcements. These adverts have been aired on 80 national and provincial TV channels, as well as at popular public venues such as movie theatres, gyms, supermarkets, trains and on the internet. ENV are sharing the message that ending wildlife consumption and taking action will save endangered species.

The latest announcement featured famous Vietnamese singer Hong Nhung and one of the country’s top TV MCs, Phan Anh, each urging the public to stop using rhino horn as a status symbol. This advert was not only aired on 62 TV channels but also widely shared by both Hong Nhung and Phan Anh’s fans on social media, reaching audiences far and wide.

Collaborating with Vietnam’s biggest radio channel
Voice of Vietnam reaches all 63 Vietnamese provinces, covering current topics and highlighting public actions and enforcement news. 124 shows were produced by ENV and Voice of Vietnam together, reaching millions of radio listeners across the country.

In celebration of World Rhino Day 2017, the radio show featured Vietnam’s achievements in rhino protection such as jailing kingpin Nguyen Mau Chien; a leader of a major criminal network trafficking many wildlife products from Africa to Vietnam. Chien was behind bars after being implicated in a major seizure of illegal wildlife products in Hanoi, including approximately 36kg of rhino horn.

Media campaigns
The media plays an important role in creating the public perception of the criminal justice system. Education for Nature Vietnam therefore utilises the media to reach the public and has been regularly pushing priority issues to the centre of public attention.

ENV were able to ‘maintain the heat’ on the Nguyen Mau Chien case, continuing to highlight the crime, deterring future criminals and applying pressure to local authorities to strengthen their law enforcement efforts.

Social media campaigns
Social media is a huge part of today’s media landscape, especially in reaching different audiences. In addition to the more traditional news outlets, rhino content is also posted on social media channels each week, with facts, news and imagery.

In September 2017, ENV’s Vietnamese Facebook fan page received interaction from thousands of people through their posts. One of the most popular was a post of still images of a dead rhino in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Many people expressed their feeling for the dead rhino and encouraged the public not to use rhino horn and take action to protect this critically endangered species.

Where your money goes
Your donations have been supporting the vital work of Education for Nature – Vietnam since 2012. With these funds, we have been able to help fund public awareness campaigns, including TV announcements, viral campaigns, public exhibitions and university programmes. Due to concerns about law enforcement in the country, the majority of our support has focused on supporting ENV’s crucial law enforcement and policy work.

More information about Education for Nature Vietnam
Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as Vietnam’s first non-governmental organisations focused on the conservation of nature and the environment. They employ creative and innovative strategies to influence attitudes and mobilise Vietnamese citizens to reduce the demand for rhino horn within the country. In addition to above, Education for Nature Vietnam has been employing other initiatives to reduce consumer demand, strengthen law enforcement and increase public engagement in protecting the world’s rhinos.

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