U.S.-Thai wildlife campaign
Wildlife animals are safer today as a result of a joint awareness-raising campaign by Thailand and the U.S. The campaign has raised awareness and significantly reduced interests for wildlife-related products, according to a survey by a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“It is crucial to combat the illegal wildlife trade as it jeopardizes the world’s security, threatens global economic development and biodiversity, and opens the door to zoonotic diseases,” said Steven G. Olive, Director of USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia.
The role of wildlife trafficking in global security became more apparent with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many public health and wildlife experts believe that COVID-19 originated in an animal and transmitted to humans, which had no immunity to it.
Research conducted by the USAID and Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation found that the percentage of consumers interested in wildlife-related products has dropped significantly throughout the years, especially after the launch of a collaborative communication outreach campaign in 2018.
In July 2020, USAID conducted an online survey to measure the impact of the campaign. It found that during 2018 – 2020, the percentage of respondents who said they would be interested in wildlife-related products fell from 75 percent to 31 percent.