Wildlife Free Gifting

USAID Wildlife Asia's 2018 consumer research found that one key driver to demand for illegal wildlife products among current and aspiring consumers in China is the practice of gifting enabled by low awareness of penalties for consumption of illegal ivory, rhino, pangolin, and tiger products. To address this, USAID Wildlife Asia implemented the Wildlife Free Gifting (WFG) campaign. The creative concept of the WFG campaign adopts the “Green Lifestyle Lunar Calendar” to subtly embed the “gifting” theme. A lunar calendar is what Chinese people use as a guide for the “Do’s and Don’ts” of daily life. The campaign categorizes gifting with endangered wildlife products as one of the "don’ts" on the calendar.

The campaign uses “The lunar calendar of green healthy living” to easily draw people’s attention. It features five different scenarios in daily life; each scenario presents gifting with one of the four focal species as wrong behaviors. There are five scenarios, with ivory featured in two of them -- one as a gift for female elders during the family union and the other as a souvenir when travelling abroad. The scenarios portray typical social interactions and occasions which resonate with the target audiences.

Considering the attention to the issue of wild meat consumption due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the campaign started with Phase 1 focused on pangolin parts/products, which was expanded to cover all kinds of wild meat. The campaign focuses on legal regulations, social norms, and risks to public and personal health/safety to explain why offering wildlife parts/products as food is wrong. At the same time, the campaign introduces and encourages the right behaviors that can achieve “green healthy living”. 

There are two phases of the Wildlife Free Gifting campaign – Phase 1: Wild Meat campaign (Pangolin chapter) was launched in June 2020;  and, Phase II: Tiger, Rhino Horn, Elephant Ivory,  was launched in August 2020. 

Following the campaign implementation, USAID Wildlife Asia conducted a joint monitoring survey on the Wildlife Free Gifting and Wildlife Protection Law campaigns. The intention to purchase products in the future among those exposed to any campaign decreased significantly from 2018 to 2021 for all four species - elephant (77% to 42%), rhino (74% to 27%), pangolin (65% to 23%) and tiger (74% to 38%). The decrease in intention to purchase in the future was even lower in Guangzhou, the focus area of the campaigns. Decreases were also found regarding the social acceptability of buying wildlife products and purchases in the previous 12 months among those exposed to the campaigns.

Based on these results, USAID Reducing Demand for Wildlife (RDW) continued the Wildlife Free Gifting campaign with two dissemination rounds between January and May 2022. The 2021 China Rapid Monitoring Survey results also guided RDW to expand the campaign's geographic focus to other areas -- Shenzhen, Nanning, and Kunming -- where there are a significant number of current and potential consumers. In addition, a digital component was incorporated to target potential wildlife product buyers/gifters based on their online search behaviors and socio-demographic characters. 

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign Key Visuals

Ivory bangle
It’s nice to always be by your loved one’s side and show your love by celebrating anniversaries in a proper way. Do not gift with illegal wildlife products such as ivory products to your loved ones.

 

Ivory Souvenir
Be well behaved when you travel and always understand the limits of what you can do during your trip. Do not purchase or carry illegal wildlife products such as ivory souvenirs.

 

Rhino Horn Beads Bracelet
Do not let ostentatious displays and meaningless competition ruin sincere and long-lasting friendships. Do not gift friends with illegal wildlife products such as rhino horn products.

 

Tiger Bone Wine
It is always warm and pleasant to be with family. Please take eco-friendly actions during family gatherings. Do not gift with illegal wildlife products such as tiger bone wine to elders in the family.

 

Pangolin Meat
Do not treat old friends ostentatiously with too much and inappropriate food and wine. You can show how much you cherish your lasting friendship only with a healthy and happy reunion.

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign Video PSAs

Five 30-second animated videos: All videos begin with an opening scene showing a book called "The Lunar calendar of green healthy living" and end with the Call to Action -“Say No to illegal wildlife products, Embrace the harmonious life with a healthy lifestyle”. The five videos are in animation and use typical life scenarios to show different occasions and social interactions/relationships.  

  

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign-Pangolin: Do not treat old friends ostentatiously with too much and inappropriate food and wine. You can show how much you cherish your lasting friendship only with a healthy and happy reunion.

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign-Ivory Souvenir: Be well behaved when you travel and always understand the limits of what you can do during your trip. Do not purchase or carry illegal wildlife products such as ivory souvenirs.

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign-Ivory Bangle: It’s nice to always be by your loved one’s side and show your love by celebrating anniversaries in a proper way. Do not gift with illegal wildlife products such as ivory products to your loved ones.

 

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign-Tiger Bone: It is always warm and pleasant to be with family. Please take eco-friendly actions during family gatherings. Do not gift with illegal wildlife products such as tiger bone wine to elders in the family.

Wildlife Free Gifting Campaign-Rhino: Do not let ostentatious displays and meaningless competition ruin sincere and long-lasting friendships. Do not gift friends with illegal wildlife products such as rhino horn products.

 

Wildlife Free Gifting Phases 1 and 2 Campaign Report

Gifting with wildlife products shows the status and wealth of the “giver”, and particularly their caring and respect to the recipient. Based on this finding, the Wildlife Free Gifting (WFG) campaign in China was developed to motivate the target audience to stop buying or accepting gifts derived from wildlife and change the social norm of gifting with endangered wildlife species. Phase I focused on pangolins and the key message was “Do not consume wildlife as food, which is not only to obey the law but also to safeguard your own health and that of the public’s.” Phase II expanded the focus to tiger bone, rhino horn, and elephant ivory in daily gifting scenarios while continuing with the pangolin component. The key messages were: “Presenting the most appropriate gift is the best way to show your love and care to families and friends", "Giving tiger bone/rhino horn/elephant ivory products as gifts does not express love and will also likely bring legal sanctions", and "Ivory products are not suitable souvenirs. Do not let a wonderful journey end in jail.”