In order to stop the killing, we have to stop the demand.

11 April 2017

The demand for rhino horn in Asian countries remains one of the main driving forces behind the escalation in poaching of rhinos in Southern Africa, with more than 80% of illegally trafficked rhino horn passing through Vietnam either for local use or for export to other countries, such as China.

Increasingly, the next generation of decision-makers in Vietnam are eager speak out against environmental crimes such as rhino poaching, and the use of rhino horn in their country. The Wild Rhino initiative - a collaboration between Wilderness Foundation Africa, Peace Parks Foundation, and SOUL Music & Performing Arts Academy in Vietnam - is providing them with educational and social platforms to do just that.

Watch the video for a glimpse into the activities of this encompassing demand reduction initiative.
Wild Rhino, that was launched in 2014 in 12 International Schools in Ho Chi Minh City, follows a three-step process that repeats every two years:

  1. Junior and senior students are invited to enter the Wild Rhino Competition by submitting a poem or a picture that symbolises or discusses issues pertaining to rhino protection.
  2. The senior competition winners are brought to South Africa to partake in Wild Rhino Wilderness Trails and a first-hand rhino experience. They also take part in workshop on the rhino poaching crisis facilitated by experts in conservation and brainstorm ideas on how to address demand in their country. This equips the youngsters to return to Vietnam as dedicated Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors for the conservation and protection of rhino.
  3. Built on the ideas of the Wild Rhino Youth Ambassadors, the Vietnam, be my hero Awareness Campaign is activated in the 12 International Schools each year. Using the principle of peer-education, the campaign features the messages and thoughts of these youth ambassadors on posters, educational leaflets and other marketing materials that were provided and strategically positioned throughout the schools. Engagement and interaction is further enabled through social media.
Throughout, all activities are promoted and supported by the campaign mascot, Rhino Ranger who also spreads the message through his own social media channels, action figure and comic book.

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