The challenges of campaigning against wildlife trafficking in Vietnam

In late January, WildAid and the Ho Chi Minh City-based Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) launched a graphic anti-wildlife trafficking campaign focused on three animals: pangolins, elephants and rhinos.

In a bold move, the organizers brought a group of bloodied, weakened statues of these animals to Buddhist temples, the center of spiritual life for most Vietnamese, around the country. This eye-catching strategy attracted plenty of public and media attention, but how impactful was the campaign in a country that acts as both a major transit hub and end point for wildlife products?

There are two ways to measure the success of a campaign like this, according to John Baker, chief program officer and managing director at WildAid.

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Michael Tatarski