Vietnamese consumers have a high level of biodiversity awareness but there remains a gap between awareness and understanding of the issues, according to a survey released Thursday.
About 92 percent of Vietnamese respondents expect companies to respect biodiversity through their sourcing policies, according to the survey that polled 1,000 Vietnamese consumers aged between 18-50 years old.
However, only 61 percent of respondents believe that companies pay enough attention to ethical sourcing of biodiversity, and 55 percent believe it is essential to personally contribute to biodiversity.
The survey was conducted for the first time in Vietnam by the Union for Ethical Biotrade, Swiss development organization Helvetas’ Vietnam office and Vietnam Biodiversity Conservation Agency.
It helped to measure progress in biodiversity awareness of the world’s citizens, in contribution to one of the United Nation’s 2020 targets.
The survey findings will be of strategic importance for companies investing in Vietnamese markets, and also to help implement Vietnam’s Green Growth Strategy, according to the survey’s authors.
The findings were announced at a ceremony the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held on May 22 to celebrate the International Biodiversity Day.
Deputy minister Bui Cach Tuyen said the focus of this year’s International Biodiversity Day is unsustainable consumption of endangered wildlife species.
“Raising public awareness of the importance of wildlife protection for all of society is a very important part of government efforts to address this issue,” he said.
“We hope this event today will help enable the public to recognize their responsibilities in protecting wildlife and our unique and precious biodiversity.”
The ceremony and awareness activities for International Biodiversity Day were carried out under the scope of the project "Wildlife Consumption in Vietnam: Reforming Policies and Practices to Strengthen Biodiversity Conservation" (WLC Project), funded via the World Bank by the Global Environment Facility – an international organization and largest public funder of global environment projects.
The ceremony also featured the presentation of prizes to 17 winners of the “Youth for Wildlife Protection” competition.
The competition was a joint initiative of the Vietnam Environment Administration and the Central Youth Union, and involved students and young people creating and recording original performances of songs, plays and dances, with the theme of wildlife protection.
Amongst the 17 prize winners were the organization ‘Action for Wildlife’, which was presented with a special award for its video clip “Is it true that wildlife has magical medicine properties?” and Nguyen Duy Khoai from Da Nang, who was awarded first place for his song “For the Survival of Wildlife”.
Anjali Acharya, environment cluster leader at the World Bank said the alarming decline in wildlife populations due to demand for consumption and the illegal trade is an issue of growing international concern.
“However, it is very encouraging to see such a strong response from young Vietnamese to wildlife protection efforts, and we believe that young people can make a valuable contribution in motivating behaviour change for biodiversity conservation.”
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