HANOI, March 3, 2015 (World Wildlife Day) – Nguyen Ha Nhung and Nguyen Tuan Nam, two students who won the 1st prize in the Rhino Art Contest 2014, which was organized by WildAct and other organizations, have been invited to attend the launching of “Operation Game Change” to tackle wildlife crime in Hanoi.

This special event “OGC” launching has brought together governments, NGOs, students and celebrities from Vietnam, USA, and South Africa to raise public awareness and spark a reduction in demand for illegal rhino horns.

In this picture, seated from left to right: Steven Galster - Freeland Foundation Director, Cao Duc Phat - Minister of the Agricultural Development, Theodore G. Osius - USA Ambassador in Vietnam, H. E. Bui Cach Tuyen - Vice Minister of the Natural Resources and Environment and celebrity Vu Anh Tuan.

In this picture, seated from left to right: Steven Galster - Freeland Foundation Director, Cao Duc Phat - Minister of the Agricultural Development, Theodore G. Osius - USA Ambassador in Vietnam, H. E. Bui Cach Tuyen - Vice Minister of the Natural Resources and Environment and celebrity Vu Anh Tuan.

During the launching event, Nhung and Nam have been awarded by Deputy Chief of Mission Claire Pierangelo for their contribution in raising awareness in Vietnam on the rhino crisis, especially after their attendance to the World Youth Rhino Summit last year ( Read more here: http://goo.gl/GwCqYb).

Nam has represented for the six students who went to South Africa to attend the World Youth Summit 2014 to make a short presentation about what he has witnessed and learnt (Vietnamese delegates profile: http://goo.gl/MGhA65). He stated:

“Honestly, what impressed me the most were watching the anti-poaching demonstration and shaking hand with the renowned conservationist Dr. Ian Player, who has successfully saved the white rhinos from the brink of extinction a couple of decades ago. But currently, the rhinos once again are on the edge of extinction mainly because of the Vietnamese people’s ignorance. Dr. Ian Player still hoped and has passed the responsibility of saving rhinos for the next generations. I truly feel sorry and ashamed of the rhino consumption issue in my country.”

Nam brought what he had seen in South Africa to his many friends at school, and they all became “shocked and angry, as well as shameful and sorry”. They all feel the urge of doing something - anything they can to save the rhino. They have made a huge poster to be displayed at their school board to spread the message of the rhino crisis. They are also working with WildAct Vietnam on the campaign called “Parents, please listen to me. Stop using rhino horns!!” In this campaign, parents and students are encouraged to sign the pledge “Never To Use Rhino Horns” and took pictures for an online parade to raise Vietnamese people’s awareness about rhino horns.

Before finishing his talk, Nam asked all the audiences to stand up and read the declaration below loudly with him:

I - Tuan Nam - and the Vietnamese youth promise to the conservationists and to the rangers who are currently working on the front line and are risking their lives to protect the wildlife that we will try our best to do everything we can to protect the rhino from extinction. We and our families promise that we will never use rhino horns or any illegal wildlife products!!”

After his presentation, Nam and Nhung have received many compliments and attentions from the press and media as their stories and activities can be turned into an inspiration for the youth of Vietnam.

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Media contacts:

WildAct Vietnam: Nguyen Thuc Linh, +84 966 818 264, linh.nguyen@wildact-vn.org

WildAct Vietnam We are new local conservation NGO based in Vietnam, established in 2013. Our works dedicated to raise Vietnamese people awareness on conservation issue by providing information and education program for Vietnamese children. Visit our website:www.wildact-vn.org

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