Hollywood film star Paul Blackthorne launches “Save the Rhino Vietnam!” campaign.
Hanoi, May 20, 2016 – Hollywood actor and film producer Paul Blackthorne hosted a seminar on rhino conservation for over 500 students at Thang Long University. This event marked the launch of the “Save the Rhino Vietnam” campaign—a two-week initiative coordinated by Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) and Save the Rhino International (SRI) to raise public awareness and reduce consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam.
Paul Blackthorne profile
- Born: 1969
- Nationality: English
- Occupation: actor, film producer, photographer, social activist for wildlife conservation
- Films and television that Paul has appeared in : ER (2004), 24 (2004), The Dresden Files (2007), CSI: Miami (2010), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2012), Arrow (2012-present), among others. Paul is best known in Vietnam for his role as Detective Quentin Lance in the Netflix series, “Arrow”, and as terrorist Stephen Saunders in 24, which has aired on Vietnam Television 1 (VTV1).
- Campaigns that Paul has previously been involved in: “Poach eggs not elephants” (4/2015), “Keep rhinos horny” (11/2015)
Blackthorne, famous for his roles in the hit TV shows Arrow, 24, and ER, will visit both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between May 19 and June 2 as part of the campaign. After today's kick-off event, the campaign will move forward with other meaningful activities including meetings with Vietnamese corporate leaders, talks at schools, and visits to wildlife rescue centers. ENV’s rhino ambassadors, comedian Xuan Bac and singer Hong Nhung will also join Blackthorne in this important campaign.
“I chose Vietnam to be the heart of the campaign because Vietnam is a hotspot for rhino horn consumption,” said Paul Blackthorne. “Rhinos are heading toward extinction because of greed and ignorance, this makes me sad, angry and determined to do something about it.”
Vietnam is a key consumer country of rhino horn. Over the past decade, the perceived value of rhino horn as a status symbol and miracle cure for a wide range of ailments has led to its increased demand. The last Javan rhino in Vietnam was killed for its horn in 2010. Rhino poaching internationally is now at crisis, with three rhinos killed every day in South Africa alone. In South Africa, tragic numbers of rhinos have been killed over the past two years: 1,215 in 2014 and 1,175 in 2015. According to SRI, if poaching continues to increase at current rates, rhinos could be extinct by 2026, just 10 years’ time.
“We are glad to see Paul and other celebrities sharing our passion for rhino conservation. If we stand together, we could bring rhinos a better future,” said Susie Offord-Woolley, Vice-president of SRI. “It is too late for Vietnam’s last rhino, but not too late for other rhinos in the world, if we all act now.”
Blackthorne launched the Save the Rhino Vietnam campaign in the United States in April by promoting the sale of rhino t-shirts produced by well-known artist Rob Prior. Many other celebrities have joined forces with Blackthorne to support the campaign and promote rhino protection including Arsenal F. C. football players Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Flamini and Hollywood actors Emily Bett Rickards, John Barrowman, and David Ramsey.
“Bringing an end to the tragic killing of rhinos requires a two-pronged approach here in Vietnam,” said Vu Thi Quyen, ENV’s Executive Director. “This two-pronged approach entails aggressive measures aimed at dismantling criminal networks that smuggle rhino horn into Vietnam from Africa, in conjunction with sustained campaigns by both government and private sector leaders targeting Vietnamese consumers, aimed at dispelling myths and rumors about the supposed magical properties of rhino horn,” Quyen continues.
“We are enthralled to have celebrities like Paul join our efforts to secure a future for the world’s rhinos by addressing demand in Vietnam,” said Quyen.
Further details on ENV’s rhino protection campaign: