Initiative instills zero-tolerance towards rhino horn consumption hinh anh 1The press conference to launch 'Chi' initiative phase II (Photo: organising board)
Hanoi (VNA) – TRAFFIC and Intelligentmedia on July 6 launched the second phase of their “Chi” or “Strength of Will” initiative, with updated messages and images to continue with the mission to instill a zero-tolerance towards rhino horn consumption.

The initiative targets the group of wealthy urban men aged between 35 and 55, who have been identified as the primary users of rhino horn.

The overarching message of “Chi” drives the concept that success, masculinity and good fortune come from an individual’s strength of character and not externally from a piece of horn. It encourages wealthy businessmen to demonstrate their strength of will by becoming leaders in corporate social responsibility and in wildlife protection.

The new phase of the initiative builds on this foundation, but drives an even more powerful concept, namely: “ Vuong tu Chi, Lui vi sung,” which roughly translates to “Gain prosperity through inner strength – Invite hardship using rhino horn.”

It also calls on individual businessmen to act as leaders in their community and take a stand against the consumption of rhino horn in their personal lives and business networks.

Demand for rhino horn in Asia is driving the poaching of rhinos in Africa and Asia, with over a 1,000 animals illegally killed each year for their horns, putting the future survival of rhinos in jeopardy. Rhino horn is mainly used by wealthy individuals as a supposed health tonic and as a means to flaunt their wealth: the buying and selling of rhino horn is illegal under international and national legislation in Vietnam.

The Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and prominent civil society organisations like the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Vietnam E-commerce Association and the State-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group have been key partners and taken a leadership role in integrating the “Chi” initiative into business and society.

“The Chi message has already reached over 5 million Vietnamese people and has actively engaged 2 million businessmen attending conferences, workshops and other events in Vietnam,” said Madelon Willemsen, head of TRAFFIC’s Vietnam Office.

“The private and public sectors are showing leadership in the fight against wildlife crime with ‘Chi’ as the driving force that will instill a zero-tolerance towards illegal consumption of wildlife,” she noted.

The first phase of “Chi” was launched on World Rhino Day - September 22, 2014 by TRAFFIC and Save the Rhino International and funded by the UK government.

TRAFFIC is a non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. It is a strategic alliance between WWF and the International Union for Conservation of Nature./.