On March 3, the U.S. Embassy’s American Center Hanoi organized an event to celebrate the first globally recognized World Wildlife Day. More than sixty Vietnamese youth attended the program that began with a short, thought-provoking film on wildlife conservation practices in the United States. The film is the fifth, and final, part of a series on environmental issues, produced by Vietnamese broadcast journalists through the PAS-sponsored TV Coop program. The series was aired on national TV and is scheduled to be aired again soon.
After the screening, a panel of wildlife experts, including ESTH Unit Chief Doug O’Neill, the filmmaker Nguyen Kieu Trang, Nguyen Viet Dung from PanNature, and Tran Viet Hung of ENV (Education for Nature – Vietnam), provided insights on current issues related to wildlife conservation and trafficking. PanNature and ENV are two of the most active non-governmental organizations involved in current conservation efforts in Vietnam. Mr. Dung, who serves as PanNature’s Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, discussed current environmental policies in Vietnam, including their shortcomings. ENV’s Tran Viet Hung focused on getting the young audience to better understand the reality of wildlife and consumption and how each of us can make a difference. Students enthusiastically engaged in the interactive discussion on how to change attitudes and behaviors and learned about volunteering opportunities. WWF/TRAFFIC supplied informational handouts and factsheets for all participants. This event, together with social media outreach, served to commemorate the first World Wildlife Day.