BY BRIAN ADAMS, ASIA PROGRAM MANAGER
On the eve of the International Wildlife Trade Conference in Hanoi, WildAid united more than 100 prominent Vietnamese business leaders with a pledge to never consume rhino horn or other illegal wildlife products. In a show of solidarity, the nation’s top business leaders joined our call and urged stronger enforcement and more effective wildlife conservation action.
Consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has fueled crisis-level rhino poaching in South Africa. That’s why WildAid Ambassador Sir Richard Branson to fly to Ho Chi Minh City last year for the launch of “Pledge on Wildlife Conservation and Ending Demand for Rhino Horn in Vietnam” with an elite and influential group of business leaders. Since then, another 75 top CEOs and over 250 executives have also signed on.
The growing corporate support in Vietnam to end the rhino horn trade is a clear signal to private citizens that consumption must end. To ensure that their message is heard, WildAid published the list of business leaders who took the pledge with full-page advertisements in leading publications. Our Vietnam team has also been busy producing a microsite that is being promoted throughout the country supported by our continued efforts to share public service announcements and prominent billboards in major cities.
However, the best method to create real change continues to be the heartfelt messages from influential leaders such as Ms. Mai Thanh who had this to say about the pledge:
“As a businesswoman during a period of economic integration, being good in business is not enough, what is important is the balance between financial benefits and social values. I’m aware of my role and responsibility in social issues, particularly the consumption of wild animal products leaving the animals on the brink of extinction. I’ll urge my family, friends, and fellow business partners to join me in this fight.”
We hereby pledge:
1. To lead by example in developing sustainable and socially responsible business practices.
2. Not to purchase, possess or give as gifts any illegal wildlife products, such as rhino horn.
3. To encourage friends, family and employees never to purchase any illegal wildlife products.
4. To support efforts to conserve Vietnam’s rich natural heritage and protect wildlife.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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