No Ivory No Tiger Amulets: Campaign Background

The “No Ivory No Tiger Amulets” campaign aims to reach and engage those who desire to buy and use ivory and tiger parts and products motivated by their perceived beliefs in the power of these products to bring good luck or prevent harm. This campaign strategy, based on testing among consumers of these products, is to question these beliefs, not directly state that these beliefs are wrong.

Research conducted by USAID Wildlife Asia in 2018 shows that two percent and one percent of the adult urban population own and use ivory and tiger products, respectively. They are a significant niche market and constitute an estimated 500,000 ivory and 250,000 tiger consumers. Consumers are generally affluent, well-educated, and have stable occupations. What is concerning is that three percent (around 750,000 people) intend to buy and use these products in the future. Ten percent (an estimated 2.5 million people) and seven percent (around 1.8 million people) find the use of these ivory and tiger products socially acceptable, respectively.  The research also revealed that these perceived beliefs constitute a major driver for the demand for ivory and tiger products in Thailand.

This campaign builds on the Phase 1 campaign, “A Good Life Is Free of Killing” that was implemented by USAID Wildlife Asia with WildAid and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) from October 2019 to January 2020. This first campaign aimed to deter current and potential consumers from buying or using ivory and tiger products with the key message “How can amulets that come from taking another being’s life be considered as auspicious or a source of good karma?”. 

The Phase 2 “No Ivory No Tiger Amulets” campaign’s key message is “How can amulets made from elephant ivory and tiger fangs protect you, when these animals cannot even protect their own lives? จะมั่นใจได้อย่างไร  ว่าวัตถุมงคลจากช้างจากเสือ จะปกป้องโยมได้ ขนาดชีวิตของเขาเอง ยังไม่รอดเลย” It is communicated through a slice-of-life story depicting a situation that raises doubts about these perceived spiritual beliefs. This key message is delivered by Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto, a popular Buddhist monk known for engaging his audience’s attention by preaching “dharma” in an entertaining way. Phra Maha Sompong has committed to be the campaign’s champion to amplify and influence acceptance of the message. Materials include a 60-second video and shorter versions that will be shown through social media channels and selected websites.  Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will be disseminated through billboards in high-traffic areas and on tuk-tuks plying routes near areas where amulet trade occurs.

The campaign is implemented by USAID Wildlife Asia to help counter wildlife trafficking. Elephant ivory and tiger parts are among the top items illegally traded worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia.  The illegal trade thrives because there is a strong demand for elephant ivory and tiger parts in various forms.


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