As well as investigating and disrupting the illegal wildlife trade, equally important to protecting pangolins, tigers and other species that are victims of the trade is to reduce demand for the products. We work in key markets for wildlife products to persuade people of the tragic consequences of their continued consumption and to debunk myths about the medicinal value of pangolin products. We also share more positive messaging about pangolins, highlighting that if left alone in the wild, the animals are harmless and beneficial to ecosystems.
We inform Chinese and Vietnamese people about the threats facing pangolins, their endangered status, and the health risks associated with consuming them. These strategies have so far proved very effective in building support for pangolin conservation and in making pangolin consumption increasingly socially unacceptable.
Campaigns that we have part-funded have been incredibly successful in their reach. For example, in China the ‘Don’t be a Villain to Wildlife’ campaign, featuring Jackie Chan, was very influential in changing attitudes to the consumption of wild animals, particularly tigers and pangolins.
Similarly successful was the ‘Guardians of the Wild’ campaign which we supported in Vietnam. The campaign made a particularly strong impression on young people and has raised public awareness of the four Asian pangolin species, the threats facing them, and the relationship between humans and pangolins. The campaign reached 3.3 million online and many more people were exposed to the billboards and advertisements.
For example, our partners on the ground work with restaurants in Vietnam to encourage them to stop serving wildlife products, and to make consumers aware of the public health risks and illegality of wild meat consumption.
To reduce the demand for wildlife products in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we work we companies that make investments in TCM companies to pressurise them to divest. We also engage with TCM practitioners themselves to encourage the use of herbal and plant-based alternatives to Pangolin scales in TCM.
In Africa, our demand reduction efforts are focused on the reduction of bushmeat consumption, particularly of pangolin meat. Our work is targeted on Cameroon in particular, a country with high levels of biodiversity and pangolin populations, but which also has astoundingly high levels of bushmeat consumption. Campaigns are aimed at convincing Cameroonians to see pangolins not as food but rather a symbol of the country’s rich wildlife.
Donate now to support DSWF’s demand reduction campaigns
Human wildlife conflict is a devastating and urgent problem for our ground-based projects, and one that is only getting worse as habitats are destroyed, and competition for land becomes more intense, meaning humans and wildlife increasingly come face to face. Learn how DSWF is striving for Human wildlife coexistence.
All DSWF funded projects provide vital support to communities who live alongside wildlife. It is crucial that they have a stake in protecting wildlife and benefit from it. Our projects provide education programs, community benefits and jobs, help improve gender equality, and restore eco-systems, all of which make life better for the people living in the communities we work in. Find out more.
DSWF has been supporting the Wildlife Programme in Zambia (previously known as the Elephant Orphanage Project) since 2007. The programme rescues elephants from the wild who have been orphaned, rehabilitates them, and then gradually releases them back into the wild. Find out more.