EAST is working to find solutions to the problems of the illegal wildlife trade. Education and awareness is a vital part of this conservation work, as it focuses on stopping this problem at its core.
Our education programme works with both local and international communities, raising awareness about how we all influence, and can therefore stop, the illegal trade in endangered primates.
How Does Education Save Species?
All of the animals at Dao Tien (EAST's primary project) have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.
This means they were hunted (illegally) from the forest; most when they were tiny babies, and sold to people; either to keep as pets or put on display in tourist attractions.
If there was no demand for these animals (i.e. if no one wanted to buy them in the first place) would they have been hunted? No. They would most likely still be in the forest where they belong.
The only reason they were taken from the forest is because someone, somewhere, was going to pay money to buy them.
It is important to remember that this is a worldwide demand. These animals are often smuggled out of Vietnam to be sold in countries all around the world. Therefore we can all help to stop it happening.
This is where education comes in, and it works in three ways:
1. Reducing the demand for primates as pets. If less people want them as pets, less will be hunted to supply this demand. We do this by highlighting the truth behind the animal in the cage; making people aware of the laws and implications associated with the trade in primates.
2. Increasing respect and understanding for Vietnam's precious wildlife. The more people know about these animals, and ways to help, the better chance these animals have in their fight against extinction.
3. Encouraging positive actions. Highlighting practical things that everyone can do to significantly reduce the number of primates caught in the illegal wildlife trade. Click here to see what those positive actions include and what YOU can do.