Vietnam’s Youth Speaking Up for Wildlife Conservation

Vietnam’s Youth Speaking Up for Wildlife Conservation

Meet Pham Van Manh. Nicknamed Mak, he is a student at the Water Resources University in Hanoi, and Chairman of the school’s Future Green Family Club. For the past two months Mak has been organizing a grassroots outreach event to raise awareness about earthy matters in the lead up to World Environment Day on June 5. The ‘Nature Voice Up’ event brought together hundreds of students and local conservation NGOs to add their voices to a chorus of concern about this year’s theme: the brutal and illegal wildlife trade. Freeland, together with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), provided support for the event through the regional behavior change campaign support platform iTHINK (www.ithink–now.org), which is tailor-made for small groups with big plans to bring their messages to much bigger audiences. Mak and his peers recorded iTHINK videos that were given a much bigger launching pad into cyberspace through the website and social media. “As our club is small it is really helpful to have such support so that our message can have more impact,” said Mak. “We cannot protect the environment alone.” Summing up his experiences and the importance of this original web platform, he added, “Individuals have a small voice, but if we speak together our voices are louder and we can change the world.”