Published 29th July 2019
Hanoi, Viet Nam, 29 July 2019 - International Tiger Day - TRAFFIC released a briefing paper today to serve as a basis for campaigns to combat the consumption of tiger products in Viet Nam.
The paper brings together the results of two TRAFFIC Viet Nam research initiatives—a survey on the online market availability of tiger products and a comprehensive tiger product consumer survey—to provide a detailed picture of tiger product use in the country. The paper also presents the results of focus group testing with key tiger product consumer groups, revealing which images and messages would be most impactful in a campaign to change consumer behaviour.
Findings from the online market survey indicate that tiger products are easily found on social media and e-commerce sites, with the month-long survey turning up 187 advertisements offering more than 1,000 tiger product items. The findings echo previous TRAFFIC research on the Vietnamese online wildlife marketplace and emphasise the need for more online monitoring and stricter enforcement.
TRAFFIC’s consumer survey, which included 1,120 adults in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, found that 6% of respondents had bought or used tiger products in the past, with 28% of those having bought a tiger product in the past year. Far and away the most popular purchase was tiger bone glue, with 83% of tiger product buyers saying that they had bought it in the past. Gift-giving is a strong purchase motivation, with 55% of tiger bone glue buyers reporting that they had made a bought the glue for someone else, usually for a close family member. Most consumers (71%) reported that their last-used tiger product was purchased for medicinal purposes.
TRAFFIC analysed consumers’ demographic and psychometric data, as well as the motivations triggering their consumption. The results were then used to identify male and female archetypes for future demand reduction efforts.
The archetypical male consumer is in his fifties, is social, extroverted, and wants to be respected by his peers. He uses tiger bone glue medicinally or as an aphrodisiac. He gifts tiger products to gain and confirm respect from family members, and he likes to show off bottles with tigers soaked in wine. The female consumer archetype is in her late forties. She tends to buy tiger products for her older relatives, as her family’s well-being is her top priority.
TRAFFIC tested messages and images among these target audiences to determine the most effective means by which to change their behaviour. The test results emphasised the importance of campaign messages that treat the audience with dignity and respect. Male audiences related to messages about showing strength and leadership, while female target audiences responded more to those on health and wellness. Notably, testing of images found that showing pictures of a tiger to focus group participants did not elicit sympathy.
This study lays the groundwork for behaviour change campaigns that can address the motivations behind tiger product consumption. TRAFFIC intends to use this information for our own work Viet Nam and also to share with other wildlife NGOs, government partners, and anyone else who is passionate about tiger conservation
Sarah Ferguson, TRAFFIC office director for Viet Nam
Global wild tiger populations are in a precarious position, having dropped by 97% over the past century, leaving fewer than 4,000 individuals. Viet Nam’s own wild tiger population has declined to fewer than five. The country has also previously been flagged in TRAFFIC research as a key destination and transit country for tiger smuggling operations.
“Vietnam is a main consumer of tiger products and that demand is putting pressure on global tiger populations. Given the large role Viet Nam plays in tiger product consumption, the country is uniquely positioned to influence the future of the species, but the change must start now, and a targeted behaviour change campaign could help bring about that change,” said Ms. Ferguson
tiger products were found for sale online in less than two weeks of surveys
are believed to remain in the wild in Viet Nam
Ms Amanda Quinn Communications Officer for TRAFFIC in Viet Nam
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