Ivory demand is the leading cause of African elephant poaching, and a large part of it stems from Asia. Vietnam plays a major role in the demand and illegal trade of ivory. To end the killing of African elephants, Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) educates the public, targets the illegal ivory trade in Vietnam, and supports the prosecution of Vietnamese ivory traffickers. To strengthen our approach to end Vietnam's ivory trade and protect African elephants, we need international support.
On average, 55 African elephants are killed for the ivory trade every day. While ivory has been illegal in Vietnam for decades, demand persists due to the perceived honor associated with buying or owning ivory. Because of demand in Vietnam and other Asian countries, Vietnamese wildlife traffickers smuggle tons of ivory into Vietnam and use Vietnam as a transit route for smuggling ivory into nearby countries.
To protect elephants, we need to end demand for ivory by educating the public in Vietnam not to buy or have ivory products and to report ivory crime to ENV's Wildlife Crime Hotline. ENV must continue working with law enforcement to address ivory crime reported by the public and volunteers, while taking down online ads and traders, especially in Vietnam's ivory hotspots. ENV is also bolstering our support to Vietnamese courts in the prosecution of ivory traffickers to ensure prison sentences.
ENV's strategic approach has transformed wildlife protection in Vietnam for over 20 years; now we're harnessing international public support and targeting our efforts to end the demand, trafficking, and trade of ivory in Vietnam. Working to achieve long-term change, in 2020-2021, ENV reached millions with awareness messages; tackled >935 ivory cases; removed 86.7% of online ivory ads; and 17 ivory cases were tried and 26 ivory traffickers imprisoned due to ENV efforts.