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Identifying and understanding consumers of wild animal products in Hanoi, Vietnam: implications for conservation management

Drury, R.C.; (2009) Identifying and understanding consumers of wild animal products in Hanoi, Vietnam: implications for conservation management. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Vietnam is an established thoroughfare for illegal wildlife trade, and rapidly growing urban prosperity is increasing domestic demand for wild animal products. Consumer-targeted interventions, including awareness campaigns and social marketing, and supply-side approaches such as wildlife farming to reduce demand for wild animals, are increasingly being used alongside regulatory measures to curb illegal trade. These approaches are based on limited information about wild animal consumers and consumption behaviour in urban Vietnam. In particular, little is known about the characteristics of consumers, the context of consumption, the values associated with wild animal products, the ability of farmed wild substitutes to satisfy consumer demand and current awareness levels and attitudes regarding wild animals. Focusing on the central Hanoi population, this thesis investigates all of these issues using a structured questionnaire survey (n=915) and a series of semi-structured interviews (n=77). There is considerable demand for wild animal products, and for wild meat in particular, amongst the population of central Hanoi. Wild meat consumers tend to be high-income men of all ages working in high-status positions as businessmen, finance professionals and government officials. Consumption of medicinal products is positively related to age and education. Wild meat is a prestige food used to demonstrate wealth and status and there are considerable social pressures to consume it. Preferences for wild-caught products show farmed substitutes will not satisfy demand for wild products; widespread farming may actually increase overall demand for wild animal products by introducing new consumers and encouraging existing consumers to place greater emphasis on the origin of products. Wildlife-related awareness does not reduce consumption behaviour and the population surveyed displayed a largely utilitarian attitude towards wild animals. The thesis concludes with recommendations to reduce wildlife decline driven by overexploitation for trade in Vietnam.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Identifying and understanding consumers of wild animal products in Hanoi, Vietnam: implications for conservation management
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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