HA NOI — In anticipation of World Rhino Day, Humane Society International premiered a cartoon movie based on its children’s book, “I’m a Little Rhino,” to thousands of primary school children in Ha Noi. The storybook and film will be used in schools to help teach children about rhinoceros poaching concerns and conservation efforts. The demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam is among the key drivers for poaching, which is causing a decline in already fragile rhino populations.
As part of the campaign to reduce rhino horn demand, HSI, in conjunction with the Ha Noi Department of Education and Training and the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will distribute 1.4 million I’m a Little Rhino books to primary school children in six cities, through cooperation with each city’s Department of Education and Training.
Ambassador Kgomotso Ruth Magau from the embassy of the Republic of South Africa; HSI representatives, CITES MA VN along with leaders of 30 District Department of Education and Training and representatives from several primary schools in Ha Noi attended today’s event at Tay Son Primary School in Hai Ba Trung district, Ha Noi capital. The children also received copies of the book and participated in fun rhino awareness activities.
Nguyen Hiep Thong, deputy director of the Ha Noi Department of Education and Training said: “I really appreciate the innovation of Viet Nam CITES Management Authority and the support of Humane Society International in bringing the wildlife conservation messages to the educational and training sector. I do believe that, with about 600,000 primary students in Ha Noi capital alone, the rhino protection messages will be reaching almost all families in Ha Noi. In the future, we look for the cooperation with Viet Nam CITES Management Authority and international communities to integrate wildlife conservation into the teaching curriculums for Ha Noi students for both immediate and long-term effect.”
Ha Thi Tuyet Nga, Director of Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, said: “After one year of running the campaign, we have created break-through changes in the perception of the public for the medicinal values of rhino horns, particularly in Ha Noi where the surveyed result showed that the demand for rhino horn has reduced 77 percent compared with that before the campaign was implemented. Awareness raising will change the behaviors and actions of the public towards demand for rhino horns. The event we have today is even more far-arching as it has already touched the future generation. After the event, about 600,000 primary students of Ha Noi will receive the rhino booklets which will help them have a deep impression on the species’ beauty, which creates a strong hope for harmonized humans and nature future.”
“Rhinos are being driven to extinction by poachers who kill rhinos to get their horns,” said Teresa Telecky, Ph.D., director of the wildlife department for Humane Society International. “We are proud to support the efforts of the government of Viet Nam to tell Vietnamese people not to waste their money on rhino horn because it has no medicinal properties, and thus to reduce demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam.”
Viet Nam’s rhino horn campaign, which began in August 2013, has engaged many sectors of society including women’s associations, universities, primary school children, and businesses in six major cities in Viet Nam (Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Can Tho, Nha Trang and Hai Phong). Viet Nam created the campaign with HSI after the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora identified the country as a leading consumer of rhino horn, which is incorrectly believed by some to have medicinal properties. Take action and donate to help save rhinos and other wildlife.
HSI: Mr. Raúl Arce-Contreras +1 301.721.6440 firstname.lastname@example.org
Viet Nam CITES Management Authority: Ms. Nguyen Minh Thuong Tel: 84 912 538 958 Email: email@example.com