A campaign for rhino protection has been launched in a number of elementary, middle, and high schools in Ho Chi Minh City in recent times.
The campaign is part of a project to go against the use of rhino horns, undertaken by such animal protection organizations as the U.S.-based Wild, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment.
It is aimed at raising young people’s awareness of the prevention of trafficking and consuming rhino horn in Vietnam.
The campaign is also meant to keep students informed of the risk of extinction the rhino is facing so that they can urge their relatives to join hands in fighting the trade and usage of rhino horns.
It will run until November 30 and feature two plays depicting threats human beings pose to the animal.
Students will be allowed to change the plays’ endings the way they want as well as have discussions after each play.
Vietnamese singers Thu Minh and Thanh Bui together with actress Hong Anh will also take part in the campaign to pass on their knowledge of the issue and to inspire students to protect rhinos.
A contest dedicated to rhino protection will be organized as part of the campaign, with a series of activities like poster painting, filmmaking, and collecting people’s commitments to protecting rhinos, in order to disseminate information on the animal to the community.
The campaign is expected to attract around 5,000 students and teachers.
In August last year, the Humane Society International (HSI) joined hands with the Vietnam Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Management Authority to mount a public education and awareness campaign against the use of rhino horn, which is falsely believed by many to be a kind of medicine.
Pre- and post-campaign polls conducted by the Vietnam business of the international public polling firm Nielsen revealed a dramatic reduction in public demand for rhino horn in the country, the HIS said on its website.
Since the campaign launch, demand for the substance has dropped by 38 percent, according to the poll results.
Vietnam is now the world’s biggest consumer of rhino horn, according to the HSI, which works to protect all animals, including laboratory & farm animals, companion animals, and wildlife.