Businesses in Vietnam Pledge to Fight Illegal Wildlife Consumption at USAID Workshop

Businesses in Vietnam Pledge to Fight Illegal Wildlife Consumption at USAID Workshop
Business leaders participated in workshop activities and learned how to apply social and behavior change communication approaches and CSR practices to combat the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife in Vietnam.
Nguyen Hoai Khuong / USAID Wildlife Asia

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 26, 2018

QUY NHON – On November 24, Business leaders in Central Vietnam have pledged to actively combat illegal wildlife consumption, tapping new programs to shed light on wildlife crime and myths about consumption that are driving the trade in and through the country.

Leaders from 25 business associations developed an action plan to integrate wildlife protection into their corporate social responsibility activities. Gathered at a two-day workshop ending today that was organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the leaders also pledged in writing to use their influence to inspire others and step up as champions to protect endangered wildlife species.

“By pledging to be agents of change, these leaders can affect policy decisions in their organizations and disseminate key messages through their networks -- all of which help drive Vietnam towards a complete cessation in illegal wildlife trade and consumption,” said Michael Greene, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director.

The workshop was held as part of USAID Wildlife Asia’s Chi Phase III Initiative, a social marketing initiative geared towards reducing demand for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products. The previous two phases of this Initiative, led by wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, have overseen the training of more than 20,000 businesspeople on incorporating wildlife-protection into their CSR activities. Businesspeople are a specific target audience of the Chi Initiative as they have been identified as a key rhino horn user group in past TRAFFIC research. High-profile companies that have joined the initiative include the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group, Sun Group, Quang Vinh Ceramic Company and the Body Shop.

Danang, along with Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, and Can Tho, is a key city for USAID Wildlife Asia program activities. Lying on the north-south transport axis of Vietnam, Danang was identified in USAID-commissioned research as a market and transit hub for the country’s illegal wildlife trade. In 2018 alone, this port city has seen at least eight seizures of illegal wildlife products, including six tons of pangolin scales and two tons of ivory. More broadly, Vietnam is a leading consumer of endangered species, especially rhino horn, pangolin scales, ivory and tiger bone.

At the workshop, 35 participants learned how to apply social and behavior change communication approaches and CSR practices to combat the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife in Vietnam. Once trained, business association leaders can then spread anti-trafficking messages throughout their networks, their companies, their clients and beyond, contributing to a change in social norms.

“As business executives in Vietnam, we have an opportunity here to lead by example,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Hoc, President of the Binh Dinh Traditional Martial Arts Business Association. “By taking a public stance against wildlife crime, we show the world that Vietnamese businesses will not tolerate the illegal, unethical practice of consumption of endangered species. In this way, we protect our businesses from risks related to wildlife crime and contribute to a wider shift in practices that will protect threatened species for future generations.”

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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