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|Craig Hart, acting mission director of USAID Mission in Vietnam|
On August 28, USAID Wildlife Asia Activity has launched the third phase of the Chi Initiative, a programme to help decrease consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam.
“The US government remains committed to collaborating with countries around the world to combat wildlife crime and end demand for illegal wildlife products,” said Craig Hart, acting mission director of the US Agency for International Development Mission in Vietnam.
Demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, including Vietnam, drives the illegal poaching of rhinos in Africa, putting the species in jeopardy of extinction. The Vietnamese government has made strides in countering wildlife crime, notably with a new penal code that features stricter penalties for the possession and trade of illegal wildlife products. Despite these efforts, Vietnam is still considered a major consumer market and transit hub for rhino horn.
The “Chi,” or “Strength of Will,” social marketing initiative seeks to reduce demand for rhino horn by using a social behaviour change communication approach to tackle consumption driven by social status.
“We were excited to welcome representatives from the government, civil society, businesspeople, and the media at the launch, which showed an increasing consensus for wildlife protection in Vietnam,” said Sarah Ferguson, head of Traffic in Vietnam. “As part of USAID Wildlife Asia and with a strong commitment from Vietnamese partners, we will continue to explore innovative behavioural change solutions and work to further reduce illegal wildlife consumption in the country.”
|USAID has launched the third phase of the Chi Initiative to change the Vietnamese society for the better|
USAID Wildlife Asia works to address wildlife trafficking as a transnational crime. The activity works to reduce consumer demand for wildlife parts and products, strengthen law enforcement, enhance legal and political commitment, and support regional collaboration to reduce wildlife crime in Southeast Asia, particularly Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. USAID Wildlife Asia focuses on four species: elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, and pangolin.