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April 29, 2015

Rhino Conservation Campaign Reaches Da Nang, Viet Nam

Campaign included teacher training courses and the delivery of 80,000 children’s books to schools in an effort to reduce demand for rhino horn

Humane Society International

  • HSI

Residents of Da Nang, a major coastal city in Central Viet Nam, participated in a series of awareness-raising activities to reduce the demand for rhino horn. The activities, ranging from a teacher training course to the delivery of tens of thousands of books about rhinos to every primary school student in the city, were hosted by Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, the Da Nang Department of Education and Training and Humane Society International throughout March and April.

In March 2013, the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora identified Viet Nam as a leading consumer of rhino horn, which is incorrectly believed by some to have medicinal properties. CITES requested Viet Nam to implement a communication campaign to reduce demand for rhino horn. Viet Nam and HSI have been working together on this campaign since August 2013.

Do Quang Tung, director of Viet Nam CITES MA, said: “Education should be recognized as a process by which human beings and societies can reach their fullest potential. Education is critical and indispensable to changing people's attitudes so that they have the capacity to assess and make their own decisions towards sustainable development and wildlife protection. The event we have today can't be better as not only the school kids but also their parents, their grandparents, their siblings will be ambassadors for helping change awareness of people in Da Nang towards wildlife product consumptions and particularly rhino horn demand. This will definitely create a "boom" in correcting the perceptions and behaviors of the public towards rhino horn usage and consequently further reduce the demand for rhino horns in Viet Nam."

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Le Trung Chinh, director of the Da Nang Department of Training and Education, said: "I encourage all the District Departments of Education and Training and all the Primary Schools to integrate the content of the rhino booklet into the teaching programs so the humane messages can be further widespread in our society. The planet we have today, the wildlife we have today are the assets of our future generations. Therefore, they are entitled to be equipped and nurtured with what is happening with their assets and how they can do to protect their assets. And definitely, their voices are an inspiration for the global efforts for protecting our planet, our wildlife."

Dr. Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife for HSI, said:  “We’re thrilled to see so many Da Nang residents take part in our rhino horn reduction campaign. They message they leave with is an important one – to save the rhinos we need to reduce the demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam.”

The activities included:

  • A training course for 130 educational managers and teachers of Da Nang Educational and Training sector on how Da Nang educational sector can contribute for rhino horn demand reduction.
  • Delivery of 80,100 colored “I’m a Little Rhino” booklets to students from all 97 primary schools in Central Viet Nam’s Da Nang city.
  • A rhino-themed art contest with more than 1,000 entries from Da Nang primary school kids.
  • Face-to-face talks with nearly 5,000 kids from five Da Nang primary schools.
  • The campaign also organized seminars on how students at Da Nang’s universities can help reduce the demand for rhino horns.

Media contacts:

HSI - Raúl Arce-Contreras, 301.721.6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org 
Da Nang Department of Education and Training - Ngo Ngoc Hoang Vuong, 84 905 164 998, nohovo@gmail.com
Viet Nam CITES Management Authority - Nguyen Minh Thuong, 84 912 538 958, nguyenminhthuong.vnforest@gmail.com

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