Hue ready to become the first Wild Meat – Free City of Vietnam
Hue is known in Vietnam as unique, with a wonderful culture and history. The city is close to nature and beautiful protected areas, which have lived side by side with people in the area for centuries. Endemic and rare species such as Sao la, Truong Son muntjac, Striped rabbit, among others are the trademarks of the Central Annamites. Unfortunately, these are likely to become part of history since illegal hunting in forests for commercial trade in Vietnam is threatening the long-term survival of the biodiversity. The consumption of wild meat in big cities like Hue is what drives the hunting in the forests.
Earlier this year, WWF conducted a survey in Hue to determine who the main consumers for wild meat are. Finding showed that it is middle-aged professionals with a high-income and education that are the key consumer group for wild meat. More than 50% of the total number of people interviewed admitted that they consumed wild meat at least once in the last 6 months and they all preferred fresh wild meat caught in forests rather than consuming that of domestic or farmed animals.
But Hue will not stand to see its precious species vanish away. The city has a strong will to be environmentally firendly. Last year, Hue was awarded as the National Earth Hour City Challenge of Vietnam for its commitment to sustainable and low-carbon development. For this reason, together with the Forest Protection Department, WWF is encouraging the citizens of Hue to avoid consumption of wild meat for the well-being of wildlife and forests, making Hue become the first Wild Meat – Free City of Vietnam.
The campaign has also engaged Phap Lam artists in its activities.
“Phap Lam is a proud art of Hue, it is considered to be unbreakable since its center is made by copper. And just like Phap Lam, wildlife can sometimes be assumed to be indestructible, to live forever in the forests. But both Phap Lam and our species could disappear if people do not take steps to preserve the heritage of the city,” said Ms. Alegia Olmedo, Project Manager, WWF-Vietnam.
Starting later this month and into the New Year, Hue and Vietnamese people will get to know about the campaign messages illustrated by this art form through social media channels and other public places in Hue. Through these various avenues, WWF aims to engage as many people in the campaign and with time, change the behaviours of those consuming wild meat and encourage them to make a different choice, one that helps preserve the heritage of Hue and the rest of the area. Once different decisions are made and consumption of wild meat is eliminated, there will be no more reasons to poach wildlife.
“Hue city has been selected as the first city to achieve this objective. And luckily we received the support from Hue City’s People Committee in November 2016 when an official letter was issued calling on municipal residents and government officials to avoid consumption of wildlife products in the city. The Forest Protection Department and the University of Science are crucial partners in delivering this campaign – their influence and reach within the city makes them key participants in these efforts. WWF hopes Hue can lead the way for other cities in achieving this ambitious goal and demonstrate that it is possible to achieve this and be an example of positive change for others.” Said Ms. Olmedo.