Project supports Vietnamese local authorities launch an SBC traditional medicine exhibition
Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 17 March 2023 – Under USAID’s Saving Threatened Wildlife project, a public exhibition focusing on reducing the consumption of illegal wildlife products in traditional medicine and advocating for legal, safe, and sustainable ingredients was opened today.
Viet Nam remains a global hub of illegal wildlife trade and is a significant destination, origin, and transit country in illegal supply chains. One of the main drivers for illegal wildlife products in Viet Nam is for use by practitioners and patients in traditional medicine (TM).
TM practitioners have a huge influence on what patients choose to buy, but the authorities also have the power to shape new mindsets for society and the public. Through our work with the National Institute of Medicinal Materials (NIMM), we want to raise awareness and reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products in TM by targeting the consumers and the general public too.”
Trinh Tuyet Nguyen, TRAFFIC Viet Nam Office Director
The exhibition, and a miniature medicinal garden inaugurated today in Ha Noi, is a collaborative initiative of the Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP)–Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), NIMM–Ministry of Health (MoH) and co-designed by TRAFFIC to encourage the use of legal, safe, and sustainable materials in TM among Vietnamese society through Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) messaging.
Visitors will experience several activities to understand the usage and benefits of Viet Nam's diverse medicinal plant resources. They will also be able to observe how specimens are sampled and prepared for medicinal materials, identify medicinal plants, and interact with TRAFFIC and NIMM wildlife experts.
The 60m2 medicinal garden comprises 40-50 species of legal and sustainable medicinal plants popular and commonly used in TM to treat diseases previously considered to require illegal wildlife products. The garden will serve as a model for upcoming events organised by NIMM, TM-related organisations and educational institutions to develop and promote an innovative, sustainable future for TM in Viet Nam.
Through these activities, visitors will begin their behaviour change journey by adopting legal, sustainable and responsible traditional medicine practices.
The exhibition is open to the public between 17-19 March at the Institute’s Center of Medicinal Material Resources, with a mini-garden model showcased at Book Street (19/12 Street) until 23 March.
USAID supported the Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP)-MARD, the National Institute of Medicinal Materials (NIMM)- MoH, WWF and TRAFFIC to inaugurate an exhibition in Ha Noi.
This activity is part of TRAFFIC's holistic Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) strategy to reduce consumer demand and consumption of illegal wildlife products in Viet Nam under USAID’s Saving Threatened Wildlife Project, which WWF leads.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is responsible for the majority of overseas development assistance from the United States Government and works to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity for America and the world.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
About VN Management Board for Forestry Project
The Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP) is a public non-business unit under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). As the owner of ODA/concessional loan-funded programs/projects, MBFP directly manages or jointly implements these programs/projects in forestry and rural development nationwide.
About VN National Institute of Medicinal Materials
The National Institute of Medicinal Materials (NIMM) is a TM-oriented state agency responsible for scientific research and comprehensive technological development of medicinal herbs. It is also involved in the production and sale of medicinal herbs, drugs, and other medicinal preparations.
The group of experts from the NIMM and its research centres have extensive experience in the field of medicinal plants and has compiled similar documents on medicinal plant species.
NIMM has partnered with TRAFFIC to develop several handbooks providing alternatives to illegal wildlife products and other SBC interventions.