Posted on 04 April 2023
The Exhibition and the Medicinal garden opened to encourage the use of legal, safe, and sustainable materials in traditional medicine among Vietnamese society
In Ha Noi, March 2023, the Saving Threatened Wildlife project, supported by USAID, opened an exhibition to reduce the consumption of illegal wildlife products in traditional medicin
e and advocate for the use of legal, safe, and sustainable medicinal materials instead. The exhibition was co-hosted by the Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP, MARD), the National Institute of Medicinal Materials (NIMM, MoH), WWF and TRAFFIC.
Viet Nam remains a global hub of the illegal wildlife trade and is a significant destination, origin, and transit country in illegal supply chains. One of the main drivers
for the demand for illegal wildlife products in Viet Nam is their consumption by practitioners and patients in traditional medicine (TM
In response to this situation, the exhibition, and the medicinal garden opened to encourage the use of legal, safe, and sustainable materials in TM among Vietnamese society. It opened to the public from 17-19 March at the Institute’s Center of Medicinal Material Resources with a mini-garden model showcased at Book Street (19/12 Street) to 23 March.
“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 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”, said Ms Nguyen Tuyet Trinh, Office Director, TRAFFIC - the implemented partner of the project.
The exhibition integrates social and behaviour change (SBC) messages
to alert the community on the high demand and consumption of illegal wild products
in TM and refrain
Vietnamese society from considering illegal wildlife products as a miracle cure.
“Sustainable medicinal herbs can bring many benefits in terms of conservation and development of biodiversity resources, both directly and indirectly. Medicinal plants, when prescribed by a doctor, bring benefits to the patient, and at the same time also provide a source of income for the grower. When there is income from the sustainable use of non-timber forest products, the community's awareness of forest protection is enhanced, thereby reducing the impact on natural resources. Protecting rare and endangered wildlife
is protecting invaluable biodiversity values
for our children and grandchildren.”, said Ms Tran Thi Nam Ha, Deputy Director, Saving Threatened Wildlife project management board, MBFP.
Visitors experienced several activities to understand the usage and benefits of Viet Nam's diverse medicinal plant resources. They were able to observe how specimens are sampled and prepared for medicinal materials, identify medicinal plants, interact with games on wildlife conservation and meet with TRAFFIC and NIMM wildlife experts.
The 60m2 mini medicinal garden comprises over 50 species of medicinal plants
, popular and commonly used in TM to treat diseases previously considered to require illegal wildlife product
. Some of the species include: indian lettuce(Lactuca indica L.), japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.), holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum L.), glory bower (Clerodendrum chinensis var. simplex (Mold.) S. L. Chen.), Japanese pagoda tree (Styphnolobium japonicum(L.) Schott.), to name but a few.
Through these activities, visitors were encouraged to return home with a sustainable and responsible vision
of traditional medicine practices and deplore the perception of benefits
from using illegal wildlife products, such as tiger bone glue, pangolin scales, rhino horns, etc.