Traffic | May 20, 2020
DA NANG, VIET NAM: TRAFFIC’s Chi Initiative has partnered with the People’s Committee of Da Nang City to place public service announcements (PSAs) against illegal wildlife consumption in 13 strategic locations around the city, including the Da Nang International Airport, for six months. The PSAs, which have been on display in the city since March, will be seen by an estimated 8.7 million residents and visitors.
The Chi Initiative is a social and behaviour change communication campaign created by TRAFFIC and funded by the USAID Wildlife Asia project aimed at reducing demand for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products. The initiative targets wealthy Vietnamese businessmen—a key market segment that, based on consumer research conducted by USAID in Vietnam in 2018, consumes illegal wildlife products as a display of wealth/social status and/or for perceived health benefits.
The Chi Initiative reminds all Vietnamese that success and health come from one’s own life choices rather than from illegal wildlife products. The health messages are especially timely in light of the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus, which scientists believe may have been transmitted to humans through exposure to illegal wildlife.
“USAID is pleased to be working together with the People’s Committee of Da Nang to strengthen efforts to end illegal wildlife consumption in Da Nang and help protect the health of Vietnamese citizens and the wellbeing of threatened species around the world,” said USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene.
The Da Nang City People’s Committee joined the Chi Initiative to boost efforts to counter the consumption of illegal wildlife products. Through the Committee’s involvement, eight PSAs are being displayed free of charge at the Da Nang Airport and on LED screens in five locations around the city. The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Da Nang, a long-standing Chi Initiative partner, helped organise the displays.
“There has never been a more critical time to endorse Chi messages. They remind us of the strength and resilience of our people, which are so important as we collectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partnership with USAID is a continuing effort to make Da Nang illegal wildlife free, which is critical to the sustainable development of the city,” said Mr. Nguyen Tien Quang, Director of VCCI Da Nang.
Da Nang City was identified by a USAID 2018 consumer research as a consumption hotspot for illegal wildlife products and has been the site of many recent wildlife seizures, including a record-breaking 9.1-ton ivory seizure in March 2019. The Initiative has already had successes in the region. Chi workshops held in 2019 have inspired three managers of local resorts to become champions against illegal wildlife consumption by holding counter wildlife trafficking (CWT) training sessions for their staff and displaying CWT messages in their workplaces.