Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) and its supporting partners, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Freeland, hosted an awards ceremony today for the winners of the Action for Wildlife National Artwork Competition. A panel of judges included representatives from the Department of Nature Conservation (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), the U.S Embassy in Hanoi, Freeland, Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts and ENV chose 14 winners out of the 155,000 entries.
During the ceremony, representatives of the U.S. Embassy, the National Environmental Police, Lao Dong newspaper, singer My Linh and comedian Xuan Bac presented awards to fourteen individuals who had produced outstanding pieces of artwork, as well as to three schools that mobilized many of their students to get involved in the competition.
“The huge number of entries is a demonstration of public support, inspiring all members of society to take action to save Vietnam’s wildlife,” said Environment Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy, Douglas O’Neill. “The war against the illegal wildlife trade cannot be won without the strong support and active involvement of the public. The U.S. Government is taking far-reaching measures to combat the global wildlife trade in partnership with the Vietnamese government and NGOs.”
Vietnam’s biodiversity is under serious threat from the illegal hunting and trade of wildlife, driven by consumer demand for wildlife products. The country’s last Javan rhino was killed for its horn in 2010, and with the current rate of hunting and trade, tigers are likely to be the next victims to vanish. According to conservationists, there may be as few as 30 tigers left in the wild in Vietnam.
ENV launched the “Action for Wildlife” competition in November 2014. Participants focused on encouraging the public not to consume wildlife products, including rhino horn, tiger bone medicine, pangolin scales or bear bile, and to take action to stop the illegal wildlife trade. In the space of three months, ENV received more than 155,000 entries from 58 provinces and 1,983 schools and art clubs across the country.
“The screening and selection process was very challenging but rewarding,” said Ninh Thi Phuong Thao, head of ENV’s Demand Reduction Campaign. “Although only 14 entries won prizes, ENV will use many of the other outstanding pieces of artwork at public events and in printed and viral communications during the coming months and years, urging the public not to consume endangered wildlife.”
The Vietnamese public has taken an increasingly active role in stopping the illegal wildlife trade. Since 2005, ENV has documented nearly 8,500 cases of wildlife crime, many of these cases were reported by the public through the ENV Wildlife Crime hotline 1-800-1522.
The art competition was part of the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking Program, an alliance of non-governmental organizations and other agencies, including ENV and Freeland, working together across Southeast Asia and China to stop wildlife trafficking.
ENV would like to thank the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi for their generous support of this event, marking the launch of a new partnership with ENV to protect Vietnam’s wildlife.
For more information, please contact:
Ninh Thi Phuong Thao
Demand Reduction Campaign Coordinator
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV)
Address: Block 17T5, 17th floor, Room 1701,
Hoang Dao Thuy Street, Cau Giay
District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +844 6281 5424
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Note to Editor
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent U.S. Government Agency that operates under the foreign policy direction of the U.S. Secretary of State. Following 50 years of improving lives through development and humanitarian assistance, USAID is the principal U.S. Government development agency partnering with countries throughout the world to promote peace, prosperity and security. Please visitwww.usaid.gov or follow www.facebook.com/USAIDAsia for more information.
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as Vietnam’s first non-governmental organization focused on the conservation of nature and protection of the environment. Our mission is to foster greater understanding amongst the Vietnamese public about the need to protect nature and wildlife. We employ creative and innovative strategies to influence public attitudes and mobilize Vietnamese citizens to live in balance with the natural world. We work closely with government partners to strengthen policy and legislation and directly support enforcement efforts in the protection of endangered species of national, regional and global significance. Please visit www.envietnam.org or follow www.facebook.com/EducationforNatureVietnam for more information.
Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Our team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people. Freeland is also the lead implementing partner of “ARREST” (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), the U.S. Government’s largest counter-wildlife trafficking program, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more info, visit www.freeland.org also; follow Freeland on twitter @FREELANDpeople or facebook.com/freelandfoundation