Last week, WildAid, CHANGE, and the Pangolin Crisis Fund collaborated with GIZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) to organize the very first VIEWS Awards in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The VIEWS Awards (Vietnam Information on Environment, Wildlife, Sustainability), is an annual competition for journalists initiated by CHANGE.
The awards’ goal is to encourage and honor individuals and groups that have excellent reporting and editorial that covers environment, nature, climate change, and development issues in Vietnam.
“Journalists and social media writers play a vital role in conserving Vietnam’s precious natural resources and the environment. Their work can help communities solve local environmental issues, and provide policymakers with diverse information to improve and strengthen wildlife conservation law enforcement,” said Hong Hoang, Founder & Executive Director at CHANGE.
The theme for this year’s entries was A Panoramic View of the Wildlife Crisis, which garnered interest from more than 200 press outlets and reached over 250,000 people on social media.
The VIEWS Awards marked the culmination of four months of work including media training with the opportunity for participating journalists to put their learnings into practice by submitting an entry to the competition. Many writers were part of a cohort of thirty journalists who last September participated in a media training workshop in Bidoup Nui Ba National Park. Hosted by CHANGE and WildAid, the workshop was an opportunity to build relationships with local journalists from eight cities that are hotspots for wildlife consumption and trade to inspire them to investigate and report on the dark side of the trade. The training also enabled the NGOs to better understand the challenges and barriers journalists in hotspot areas face in reporting wildlife issues, in order to provide them with the support they need.
In its introductory year, the VIEWS Awards attracted more than 200 applications for both press and social media categories.
Awareness and concern of the link between wild animal consumption and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the associated health risks, was evident in the many articles submitted in this year’s competition. These articles highlighted the clear connection between wildlife conservation, protecting human health and safeguarding the economy.
The award organizers were honored to have the following industry leaders in press, communication, and conservation participate as judges for the competition:
° Mr. Nguyen Hoang Lam, Deputy of Science and Education Channel at Vietnam Television
°Mrs. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hai, Writer, Journalist, Lecturer of Public Relations & Communication Faculty at Van Lang University
°Mr. Mai Phan Loi, President at MEC (Center For Media In Educating Community)
°Mrs. Hoang Thien Nga, Former Representative Head of Tien Phong Newspaper
°Mrs. Hoang Thi Minh Hong, Founder & Executive Director of CHANGE
After three weeks of reviewing all of the competition submissions, the judges announced the following winning entries:
Author: Lam Anh – Hoang Chien
Publication: Dan Viet Online Newspaper
Article: Infiltrating A Vietnam Tiger Trafficking Network: Confronting An Online Kingpin
Author: Nguyen Hong Tham
Publication: Thieu Nien Tien Phong & Nhi Dong
Article: Protect Pangolin – Nurture Love For Children
Author: Tran Minh Hieu
Publication:Cong An Ho Chi Minh City Newspaper
Article: Wild Animals Call For Help
Social Media Category
Author: Bui Van Tuan
Post: Tears, Blood And If Only…
Author: Tran Thi Khanh Ngan
Post: The Story Of Mun
Author: Nguyen Thi Yen Nhi
Post: A Panoramic View Of The Wildlife Crisis
Author: Ngo Ha Thu Tran
Post: Perspective On The Wildlife Crisis
Author: Nguyen Van Hoc
Post: Stop Slaughtering The Birds
The event attracted more than 100 guests from various consulates, leading corporations, publishers and conservation organizations to celebrate the 18 award winners. VIP guests included Mrs. Emily Hamblin, British Consulate-General; Mr. Bez Babakhani, Canada Consulate-General; Mrs. Ton Nu Thi Ninh, President of the Peace and Development Fund; Mr. Dominic Scriven, President of Dragon Capital; and Mrs. Trang Le, CEO of Multimedia JSC.
In creating the competition, the organizers aim to build a network of journalists who specialize in writing about environmental and wildlife topics, as well as provide support to local media publications, especially those located in environment and wildlife hotspots. We look forward to seeing a greater number of participants and entries in next year’s VIEWS Awards.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. 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 $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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