Vietnamese public take “ACTION FOR WILDLIFE” through National Artwork Competition
HANOI – Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) and its supporting partners, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Freeland, hosted an awards ceremony today for the winners of the Action for Wildlife National Artwork Competition. A panel of judges included representatives from the Department of Nature Conservation (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), the U.S Embassy in Hanoi, Freeland, Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts and ENV chose 13 winners from more than 155,000 entries.
The winners take photos with distinguished guests
ENV’s Vice-director Ha Bui speaking about the role of the public in the fight for wildlife
During the ceremony, representatives of the U.S. Embassy, Lao Dong newspaper, ENV, singer My Linh and comedian Xuan Bac presented awards to 13 individuals who had produced outstanding pieces of artwork, as well as to three schools that mobilized many of their students to get involved in the competition.
Environment Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy, Douglas O’Neill talking about the U.S. government partnership with the Vietnamese government and NGOs to address the illegal wildlife trade
“The huge number of entries is a demonstration of public support, inspiring all members of society to take action to save Vietnam’s wildlife,” said Environment Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy, Douglas O’Neill. “The war against the illegal wildlife trade cannot be won without the strong support and active involvement of the public. The U.S. Government is taking far-reaching measures to combat the global wildlife trade in partnership with the Vietnamese government and NGOs.”
Xuan Bac calling on the public to take an active role in wildlife protection
Vietnam’s biodiversity is under serious threat from the illegal hunting and trade of wildlife, driven by consumer demand for wildlife products. The country’s last Javan rhino was killed for its horn in 2010, and with the current rate of hunting and trade, tigers are likely to be the next victims to vanish. According to conservationists, there may be as few as 30 tigers left in the wild in Vietnam.
My Linh congratulating the winners of the competition
ENV launched the “Action for Wildlife” competition in November 2014. Participants focused on encouraging the public not to consume wildlife products, including rhino horn, tiger bone medicine, pangolin scales or bear bile, and to take action to stop the illegal wildlife trade. In the space of three months, ENV received more than 155,000 entries from 58 provinces and 1,983 schools and art clubs across the country.
Environment Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy, Douglas O’Neill and Vice-chief Editor of Lao Dong newspaper presenting awards to the winning schools
“The screening and selection process was very challenging but rewarding,” said Ninh Thi Phuong Thao, head of ENV’s Demand Reduction Campaign. “Although only 13 entries won prizes, ENV will use many of the other outstanding pieces of artwork at public events and in printed and viral communications during the coming months and years, urging the public not to consume endangered wildlife.”
Bui Thi Ha presenting awards to two first-prize winners
The Vietnamese public has taken an increasingly active role in stopping the illegal wildlife trade. Since 2005, ENV has documented nearly 8,500 cases of wildlife crime; many of these cases were reported by the public through the ENV Wildlife Crime hotline 1-800-1522.
My Linh presenting awards to three second-prize winners
The art competition was part of the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking Program, an alliance of non-governmental organizations and other agencies, including ENV and Freeland, working together across Southeast Asia and China to stop wildlife trafficking.
Xuan Bac presenting awards to four third-prize winners
ENV would like to thank the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi for their generous support of this event, marking the launch of a new partnership with ENV to protect Vietnam’s wildlife.
Watch the video featuring the ceremony here: