USAID Wildlife Asia and Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Apply Social and Behavior Change Communication to Reduce Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products

From March 14 to 15, 2019, 20 government officials from Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) participated in a Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Training conducted in Bangkok, Thailand, by USAID Wildlife Asia.

The training strengthened DNPs ability to plan and manage targeted behavior change campaigns to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products and curtail the illegal wildlife trade. Eight of the DNP officials are stationed at border checkpoints in distant provinces such as Chiang Rai in the north and Songkhla in the south, where their responsibilities include educating communities how to detect and prevent the illegal wildlife trade.

The training enhanced participant knowledge and understanding of SBCC behavior change theories and how to apply the SBCC approach in planning, implementing and evaluating demand reduction activities. The final component included a learning by doing approach where participant groups designed and presented their own SBCC campaigns to reduce demand based on a fictional case study using the SBCC methodology they had learned in the training.

“The knowledge gained will be used to help me better understand target audiences who are buyers and sellers of wildlife products,” one participant said . “This will also help me design a process to effectively tackle wildlife crime.”  To continue after the training, USAID Wildlife Asia is working with the group to develop their own network for sharing SBCC updates and progress of demand reduction activities. 

Representatives from DNP, USAID Wildilfe Asia and training participants. Photo: Orraphan Sanornork/ USAID Wildlife Asia