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Wednesday
Sep232015

Eminent Vietnamese “Nail it for Rhinos” on World Rhino Day

Leading figures donated fingernail clippings to fill the plastic horn and show their support for last night's “Nail it for Rhinos” event. © TRAFFIC Hanoi, Viet Nam, 23rd September 2015—On yesterday's World Rhino Day, leading figures from the government, the Vietnamese business community, foreign embassies and conservation NGOs gathered to donate clippings from their fingernails to fill a plastic rhino horn as part of a TRAFFIC and WWF “Nail it for Rhinos” event.

The action, highlighting the similarities between human nails and rhino horn, is symbolic of the zero tolerance towards rhino horn consumption amongst senior members in Vietnamese society.

Rhinos are poached at alarming rates in Africa and Asia to feed demand for their horns in countries like Viet Nam, even though the horns are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up human nails. In Viet Nam, rhino horn is purchased for its purported medicinal value or as a status symbol. Now leading figures in Vietnamese society are taking a stand against this pointless and destructive consumption.

Three of the leaders—composer and producer Huy Tuan, internationally-renowned designer Khai Silk and LUALA CEO Do Ngoc Minh—are using their influence to share the message through a video premiered at today’s event that success comes from strength of character and hard work, not from a piece of rhino horn.

"I believe that each person has their own secret to success in life. However, rhino horn definitely cannot help you to be successful...success only comes when you are diligent," said Do Ngoc Minh.

Mr Vu Pham Nguyen Tung, Project Director at VietJet, shows his support for the Nail it for Rhinos event © TRAFFIC The World Rhino Day event, hosted by TRAFFIC and WWF with generous financial support from the French government, the South African Embassy, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and VietJet Airlines, acknowledged the important leadership demonstrated by key figures in Viet Nam.

“In addition to bringing the best products and services to our customers, Vietjet also cares about social responsibility and actively supports meaningful social initiatives. By joining this celebration of World Rhino Day, we hope to shift the public perception on using rhino horn for medical and other purposes. As an airlines, we commit to support wildlife protection and combat wildlife trafficking via air through the activities we have done, are doing and will do together with Freeland and TRAFFIC in the future,” said a representative of Vietjet Airlines at the event.

“With the collaboration of leaders from across Vietnamese society, we've seen great progress in efforts to change attitudes towards rhino horn consumption,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of Office for TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.

“As more and more leaders in society ‘nail it for rhinos’ and act as role models in the fight against the illegal consumption of rhino horn, next year we will have even more to celebrate on World Rhino Day.”

Participants at the event symbolized their commitment to changing attitudes towards rhino horn consumption through the donation of their fingernail clippings. The clippings filled a plastic horn to complete the event’s centerpiece, a life-size rhino model. This one-of-a-kind rhino will be used in future awareness-raising events, helping people make the connection between horns and their nails and discouraging them from consuming rhino horn.


Notes to editor:
The video debuted at this year's World Rhino Day Celebration.

TRAFFIC's work on consumer behaviour change is supported in part by the German Polifund measure, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Nailit4rhinos concept was originated by Save the Rhino International as part of the international efforts to reduce the poaching pressue on the world's rhinos by reducing the demand for their horns. For more information, please visit: https://www.savetherhino.org/get_involved/nail_it_for_rhinos.

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For further information or to schedule an interview with TRAFFIC, please contact:

Nguyen Minh, Project Officer
Email: minh.nguyen@traffic.org, Tel: +84 4 3726 5028

Jill Capotosto, Communications Officer
Email: jill.capotosto@traffic.org, Tel: +84 4 3726 5028

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