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Poaching: What actions to stem the demand for rhinoceros horns in Vietnam?

By September 10, 2019Anti-poaching
Thibault Cealic, Geo | September 6, 2019

Read the original story here PLUS video (in French)

Stéphane Ringuet, head of the Wild Species Trade Program at WWF France, explains how the organization is trying to stem the consumption of rhinoceros horns in Vietnam.

Today, there are five species of rhinoceros. Two are in Africa and three in Asia. According to the WWF, there are only 28,000 specimens of this animal in the world. The fault, in particular, poaching.

“Eight to nine out of ten rhinos are in southern Africa, mainly in South Africa,” explains Stéphane Ringuet, WWF France Wild Species Trade Program Manager. “Today rhinoceros horns and poaching is about mainly talk about the black rhinoceros and the white rhinoceros.”

If rhinos are killed, it is mainly for their horns, very popular in Asia, especially in Vietnam.

Reduced to powder, they are given therapeutic virtues. But these horns are also sold as is.

“A use of emotional order, which responds more to the enhancement of its social status,” notes Stéphane Ringuet. By giving a gift shows, somewhere, that we have succeeded in life and that we are a good person. What we have to break today is this dynamic, one of the main levers is to change the culture of appearance.”

Combating poaching and trade (prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is not enough. To stem the demand for rhinoceros horns, WWF and the TRAFFIC organization are working with civil society actors, particularly strong levers of influence in Vietnam.

“This project aims to partner with civil society organizations and influential people from the target audience to encourage them to convey messages to reduce demand, transforming them into agents of change,” says WWF on its website. As of March 31, 2017, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry had already organized 240 training sessions and mobilized 11,000 business representatives on issues related to corporate social responsibility and the role of business in the fight against wildlife crime.”

Check out our complete interview with Stéphane Ringuet in the video above.