USAID Launches New Public Service Announcements to Tackle Rhino Horn Consumption

USAID Launches New Public Service Announcements to Tackle Rhino Horn Consumption
USAID Wildlife Asia’s Chi Initiative launched two new public service announcements to combat demand for rhino horn in Vietnam on December 18, 2019.
USAID Wildlife Asia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

HANOI, Vietnam – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Wildlife Asia released two Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in Hanoi, Vietnam as part of its Chi Initiative Phase III. The Chi Initiative focuses on reducing demand for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products among Vietnamese businessmen – a key consumer population. Vietnam is a key destination and transit country for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products. Reducing demand for rhino products in the country is integral to decreasing trade flows and combating poaching.

Rhino horn products are consumed in Vietnam largely for their perceived health benefits and reflection of wealth and status. The two newly launched PSAs challenge these beliefs.

The first PSA emphasizes the fact that strength and stamina do not come from consuming wildlife products, but instead are the direct results of work and perseverance.

The second PSA highlights the incompatibility of wildlife consumption with international business practices. It stresses the risks, including the loss of prestige and reputation, of using, buying, or gifting illegal wildlife products such as rhino horn.

To ensure their effectiveness, the PSAs have been developed in partnership with the Vietnamese business community. They will be disseminated through multiple media platforms including print, billboards, and social media to achieve maximum exposure. They will also be promoted by partners such as the Central Committee of Propaganda and Education, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vietnam Automobile and Transport Association, and the Vietnam Central Buddhist Association.

TRAFFIC, a non-governmental organization working on the wildlife trade, developed the Chi Initiative (http://www.suctaichi.com/) in 2014 based on consumer research which identified wealthy Vietnamese businessmen between the ages of 35 and 55 year as a key rhino horn user group. The overarching message of Chi drives the concept that success, masculinity, and good fortune come from an individual’s strength of character and not from the use of illegal wildlife products. The initiative uses behavioral science to encourage Vietnamese businessmen to demonstrate their Chi by becoming leaders in corporate social responsibility and in wildlife protection. Chi Phase II built on the successes of Phase I, expanding its geographic reach by forging key partnerships with some of Vietnam’s largest civil society organizations.

The Chi Initiative Phase III, funded by USAID, was launched in August 2018. The campaign is working to further mobilize the business community to integrate the protection of wildlife as an element of Corporate Social Responsibility and as a means of making Vietnamese businesses more competitive. The Initiative also works with the National Assembly on advocacy against wildlife crime.

Last updated: December 19, 2019

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