Case Study 5: Exploring the effective use of celebrities in wildlife demand reduction: changing perceptions of pangolins in Vietnam
Celebrities are often used to influence the public to change their awareness of, attitudes or behaviour towards illegal wildlife products. However, there is limited evidence about how effective this is and there has been no evaluation of how to design such campaigns to maximise their impact. This case study will provide an evidence base on how best to use celebrities to deliver messages on the illegal wildlife trade, drawing on experience in conservation and other fields. Adopting an experimental approach, this case study will develop a baseline on the consumption of pangolin products in Vietnam, examine the potential role that celebrity endorsement could play in reducing demand for illegal pangolin products in the country and test a celebrity-based demand reduction campaign. It will also explore the potential effects of pangolin farming on demand and on wild populations, and quantify online illegal trade in pangolin products. The results will inform Vietnamese and international policy-makers (e.g., CITES) and be transferable beyond conservation.
Specific research questions include the following:
- What are the demographic profiles and characteristics of pangolin product consumers in Vietnam and what are the attitudes, motivations and preferences of key consumer groups?
- What is the magnitude of illegal trade in pangolin products on the internet and via social media?
- Implementing an actual intervention, what measurable impact has this intervention had on consumer demand for specific pangolin products?
- What will be the effect of pangolin farming on demand and wild populations?
Researchers: Alegria Olmedo, Dr Dan Challender
Collaborators: Thai Van Nguyen, Elizabeth Duthie, Ting Ming Lee, Carly Waterman
Collaborating organisations: Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, Fauna & Flora International, Sun-Yat Sen University, Zoological Society of London
For further details, see the Pangolin Project Briefing Document