U.S.–Thai Campaign Reduces Consumer Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products by More than Half

The United States and Royal Thai Governments celebrated World Wildlife Day on March 3 noting that a joint awareness campaign has helped reduce the demand for ivory and tiger products in Thailand by more than half.

Research conducted by the U.S. Agency for International Development and Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) indicates that the proportion of consumers who intend to buy ivory and tiger products in Thailand has significantly decreased since 2018 thanks to a collaborative communication outreach campaign.

In response to the positive results, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia Director Dr. Steven G. Olive said, “It is crucial to reduce the demand for wildlife products and combat the illegal wildlife trade as it jeopardizes the region’s security, threatens global economic development and biodiversity, and opens the door to zoonotic diseases.” 

An online survey conducted by USAID in July 2020 to assess the impact of the campaigns found that from 2018 to 2020, the proportion of respondents who stated that they will buy ivory products in the future decreased from 79 percent to 37 percent, while respondents who say they will buy tiger products fell from 75 percent to 31 percent.

To address factors that drive consumers to purchase illegal wildlife products, the United State and Thailand governments cooperatively implemented four joint campaigns from December 2019 to June 2020 to counter beliefs about ivory and tiger products; to address the perceived beauty of ivory jewelry and accessories; and to deter online purchases of ivory and tiger products.