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April 2, 2014

Vietnam Business and Women’s Groups Receive Training to Help Reduce Demand for Rhino Horns

Humane Society International, Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, Small and Medium Size Enterprise Association, Ha Noi Women’s Association

  • CITES Management Authority of Viet Nam

Participants representing business and women’s groups in Vietnam took part in training workshops to promote wildlife conservation and help stop the buying, selling and use of rhino horns in the country. The Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, Humane Society International, the Small and Medium Size Enterprise Association and the Ha Noi Women’s Association organized the training workshops, as part of a three-year campaign to reduce demand for rhino horns in Vietnam.

Teresa Telecky, director of HSI's wildlife department, said: “Rhinos are being driven to extinction by demand for their horn. We welcome this collaboration with the business community and the Ha Noi Women’s Association and commend the Viet Nam CITES Management Authority for their work, which will help to save rhinos from extinction.”  

The courses for the Ha Noi Women’s Association, given on 26th and 27th of March, involved 150 members from two urban districts, Hoan Kiem and Cau Giay, and one rural district, Thuong Tin. In addition, the Association gave a special presentation to more than 30 households involved in trading wildlife products. 

Following the business group training on April 1, which was attended by 50 businesspeople, the Economics and Integration Newspaper in Vietnam began running a special wildlife conservation program focusing on rhino and other important species to help the business community become more informed about and involved in wildlife-related issues.

Mr. Vu Quang Trach, General Editor of the Economics and Integration Newspaper- the Viet Nam Enterprise Online Newspaper said “This program is very meaningful for the enterprise community to improve their awareness for wildlife protection, particularly for rhino which is facing with the danger of being exticted. Businesses are those with good economic potentials and may have demand for using rhino horns. Therefore, with the training, I do hope that the perception for rhino horns will be changed and awareness for protection of the species will be improved.”

Do Quang Tung, director of the Viet Nam CITES Management Authority said: “Widening the message about rhino horn demand reduction is very crucial for rhino protection. This is an urgent issue for the global community to address. The London Declaration that has been supported by more than 40 countries and more than 10 international governmental agencies also recognizes the importance of engaging the private sector and business community in the battle against illegal wildlife trade. As a result, we hope that the joint cooperation among the Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, Humane Society International, the Small and Medium Size Enterprise Association and the Economics and Integration newspaper will contribute significantly to the implementation of the commitments that Viet Nam has made in address the global issue of wildlife conservation.”

Facts:

  • Only about 28,000 rhinos are left in the wild. Two of the five species are in Africa and the remaining three in Asia.
  • In 2013, more than 1,000 rhinos died at the hands of poachers in South Africa, which is home to the world’s largest rhino population. That’s more than two rhinos killed every day. Rhinos are poached for their horns, many of which end up in Asia, including Vietnam.
  • While studies have shown that rhino horn has no medicinal value, myths abound about the curative properties for cancer or as a fever reducer. Some people take it as an antidote to the ill effects of drinking too much alcohol.
  • Rhino horns are composed of keratin, the same properties as human finger nails. In attempts to thwart poaching, some rhino horn is being treated with chemicals harmful to human health when ingested.

Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: +1 301-721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org    

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