Tuesday, 11 December 2012

12/12/12 – 12th December 2012

The Saigon Creative Mornings have had a hiatus due to location change. We aim to start fresh again in January 2013, more posts will follow with further information.

Today's post is a guest blog from Malin Kihlström, a Swedish copy writer and photographer who is passionate about giving back. She has shared with us a video, localized for Vietnamese language, to help inform about the terrible impact Rhino poaching has. Please read what Malin has to say:

About the Rhino Project: I got in touch with the African Conservation Foundation a while ago through Facebook, offering them to help out and consult on marketing issues on a voluntary basis. Our recent project is to release a Vietnam version of a video animation that was made for the World Rhino Day. Among other things, we are trying to get bloggers - like you - onboard, asking them if they want to share this video and be part of this very important project.

I believe that bloggers are very strong opinion builders and role models to young people and we are hoping that you will make people understand the importance of this and also make the video a viral "talk of the town". It is of utmost importance to make a change in the attitude towards the use of rhino horns, and I believe that young people are more open towards new facts than older people.

The video is being distributed to all embassies of the supply and demand countries and their governments are urged to take effective measures to halt the trade.

Why is the rhino close to extinction?: The rhino is being hunted into extinction because of human appetite for their distinctive horns. In Vietnam, rhino horn is mainly a recreational (party) drug and used by affluent people as a detoxifying beverage and body-rejuvenating tonic. Scientific studies however proved that rhino horn has no medicinal value. Rhino horns are composed largely of the protein keratin, also the chief component in hair, fingernails, and animal hooves. In short, you’d do just as well chewing on your fingernails.

The use of rhino horn has devastating effects in Africa. Rhino poaching, in South Africa alone, now accounts for 1.6 animals per day. This comes down to 1 rhino poached every 15 hours. More than 500 rhinos could die this year if current poaching rates continue. Rhino poaching has increased with 3750% in South Africa between 2007 and 2012. The only way to stop this is to stop the demand for the horns.

About the ACF: The African Conservation Foundation is working towards the protection and conservation of Africa's endangered wildlife and their habitats. Founded in 1999, ACF fills a unique niche by creating an Africa-wide network for information exchange and capacity building of conservation efforts in the region. ACF's goal is to support and link African conservation initiatives, groups and NGOs, with the aim of strengthening their capacity, building partnerships and promoting effective communication and co-ordination of conservation efforts.

If you would like more information about the ACF you are more than welcome to contact the director Arend de Haas - info(at)africanconservation(dot)org

About Malin Kihlström: I have a degree in marketing and copywriting and I have worked in advertising for many years. At the moment I am working for an advertising agency in Malmö and I have worked with clients that vary from local businesses to high-profile companies like Daimler-Chrysler, Henri Lloyd and the Swedish Football Association. I have also recently set up my own photography business. My interest in conservation issues is deeply rooted, having grown up in the countryside surrounded by wildlife.

I have a great passion for traveling and my travels have brought me to many parts of the African continent, where I have seen some of the problems that surrounds wildlife conservation. Conservation in Africa has changed quite a bit in the last years and it's now a struggle to save the few wild pieces from poachers, developers and the resource extraction industries. After years in the marketing business I grew to realize that I wanted to use my knowledge in marketing for "a better good" - not just helping big companies earn even more money.

I have therefore, on a voluntary basis, become involved in different conservation organizations that I have been getting to know during my travels and through the Internet.

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