HA NOI — Most Hanoians were willing to use alternatives to wildlife products if they were available and proven to be effective, according to a survey released yesterday by the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Sociology at a conference in the capital.
Of 1,000 randomly selected respondents ranging in age from 20 to 69, 760 said they would choose alternative products.
While most people thought of wildlife products as expensive, they still wanted to use them because they had “a strong and profound belief in their effectiveness”, said president of the institute Dang Nguyen Anh. About 69 per cent of respondents had eaten wildlife meat, 70 per cent had used wildlife products to cure illness and 64 per cent used wildlife products they received as gifts.
However, the survey highlighted that wildlife consumption was largely spontaneous. Many were given wildlife products as gifts or invited to consume wildlife products by family or friends.
Nguyen The Dong, deputy director of the Viet Nam Environment Administration, said there should be more campaigns to raise awareness about the negative impact of unsustainable and illegal wildlife consumption and encourage the use of alternative products.
“Tapping into the power of social influence and trying to change people’s belief about the effectiveness of wildlife products is one of the biggest challenges for communication efforts today,” Anh said.
At the conference, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment also released a review of the current policy and legal framework for the management and conservation of endangered, rare and precious wildlife species.
The survey was conducted between November 2013 and April 2014 as part of the project “Wildlife consumption in Viet Nam: reforming policies and practices to strengthen biodiversity conservation” funded by the Global Environment Facility via the World Bank.