Demand reduction of wildlife products

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Demand reduction of wildlife products

CHI Initiative

The Chi Initiative: A behaviour change initiative to reduce the demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam
The initiative is based on the Vietnamese concept of “Chi,” or “Strength of Will,” to target the group identified as the primary users of rhino horn: wealthy urban men between the ages of 35 and 55.
The overarching message of “Chi” drives the concept that success, masculinity and good fortune come from an individual’s strength of character and not externally from a piece of horn. It encourages wealthy businessmen to demonstrate their Chi by becoming leaders in corporate social responsibility and in wildlife protection.

The Chi Initiative phase I launched in 2014 (2014-2015), TRAFFIC in Viet Nam together with Save the Rhino International (SRI) supported by Intelligentmedia launched the Chi Initiative, one of the largest demandreduction initiatives in Viet Nam, funded by the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund and several other donors. The Chi campaign is an evidence-based social marketing approach that was developed using TRAFFIC’s 5-step behaviour change methodology. The first two steps are to identify behaviours and segment the audience to develop messaging. The third step involves modelling behaviour and understanding the best way to influence the audience. The final steps are the development and implementation of the social marketing initiative, followed by monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the campaign. Below is a description of the Chi initiative’s development and delivery. As the Chi initiative has been so well received by its target audience and by project partners.



Chi Initiative phase II is supported by donors including Peace Parks Foundation through WWF NL, implemented by TRAFFIC and Intelligentmedia (2015-2017).
The new phase of “Chi” builds on this foundation, but drives an even more powerful concept, namely: “Vượng từ Chí, Lụi vì sừng,” which roughly translates as “Gain prosperity through inner strength – Invite hardship using rhino horn.”
It also calls on individual businessmen to act as leaders in their community and take a stand against the consumption of rhino horn in their personal lives and business networks. Demand for rhino horn in Asia is driving the poaching of rhinos in Africa and Asia, with over 1,000 animals illegally killed each year for their horns, putting the future survival of rhinos in jeopardy. Rhino horn is mainly used by wealthy individuals as a supposed health tonic and as a means to flaunt their wealth: the buying and selling of rhino horn is illegal under international and national legislation in Viet Nam.
The Central Committee of Propaganda and Education (CCPE), prominent civil society organizations, like the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Viet Nam E-commerce Association (VECOM) and the State-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) have been key partners and taken a leadership role in integrating the Chi initiative into business and society.



The Chi Initiative Phase III (2018-2021), funded by USAID Wildlife Asia, implemented by TRAFFIC and Intelligentmedia, was launched in August 2018, with two Chi III PSAs developed, and pretested to address the new and emerging uses of rhino horn – status and medicinal – which were recently reported in 2018 USAID’s Consumer Research on the consumption of illegal wildlife products in Vietnam.TRAFFIC originally developed the Chi Initiative using key findings from a comprehensive consumer research in 2014, which identified wealthy Vietnamese businessmen between the ages of 35 and 55 year as a key rhino horn user group. The overarching message of Chi drives the concept that success, masculinity, and good fortune come from an individual’s strength of character and not from the use of rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products. The initiative uses behavioral science to encourage Vietnamese businessmen to demonstrate their Chi (strength) by becoming leaders in corporate social responsibility and in wildlife protection.




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Key Word :

Intelligentmedia | Behavior change communication | Truyền thông thay đổi hành vi | Demand reduction in Vietnam | Chi initiative | Strength of Will initiative