JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

​Vietnamese woman aspires to promote country’s conservation efforts

Friday, June 22, 2018, 21:53 GMT+7
​Vietnamese woman aspires to promote country’s conservation efforts
Trang is seen at a safari in this supplied photo.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, 28, travels the world visiting preservation sites, safaris, and national parks in an effort to better understand how she can implement modern wildlife conservation in her own country.

Trang, the founder and executive director of WildAct Vietnam, an NGO dedicated to the welfare of wildlife in Vietnam, has devoted her life to protecting animals. 

In recognition of her selfless contributions to Vietnam’s wildlife, Trang was honored with the “Future for Nature Award 2018”, an accolade bestowed upon the country’s young, talented, and ambitious conservationists.

The award came hot on the heels of her recently published book “Back to Wildlife” – another feather in her cap.

Trang is seen at a preservation site in Kenya in this supplied photo.
Trang is seen at a preservation site in Kenya in this supplied photo.

Twenty years of iron will

At a TEDx event in Hanoi, Trang shared her personal journey to becoming a professional conservationist, a journey that started when she was just eight years old.

At the time, the practice of harvesting bear bile for its alleged medical properties was spreading across Vietnam.

“Every time I got home late from school, I couldn’t help hearing the desperate howling  of the bear our neighbor kept for economic purposes,” Trang shared.

“It was that first-hand witnessing of the pain that bear had to endure which led me to aspire towards wildlife preservation”.

Trang is seen at a preservation site in Kenya in this supplied photo.
Trang is seen at a preservation site in Kenya in this supplied photo.

Trang spent the next decade ignoring ridicule and contempt from those around her. 

She refused to let the notion that her country wasn’t rich enough to worry about conservation get in the way of pursuing her dream.

Instead, she spent high school petitioning local NGOs to let her volunteer on their initiatives.

Her request was eventually accepted by TRAFFIC – an NGO which promotes sustainable wildlife trade while combating wildlife trafficking, where she worked as a volunteer for a year and a half.

After high school, she enrolled to the University of Liverpool where she majored in wildlife conservation.

Her hard work at school in Liverpool led to a scholarship which enabled her to continue her studies at the University of Kent.

Since then, she’s continued to actively partake in wildlife preservation activities around the world, including three months spent living alongside native guides in the jungles of Madagascar tracking its lemur population.

She’s currently enrolled in a doctoral program focused on tracking elephants and rhinos in South Africa’s national parks and helping local rangers fight off traffickers.

Trang talks to local teachers in Kenya in this supplied photo.
Trang talks to local teachers in Kenya in this supplied photo.

The promise of passion

Trang’s journeys through the jungle aren’t exactly a walk a in the park.  Her trips often span months in far flung locales, battling the elements and fighting off poachers.

 “I may get sunburn, my appearance maybe degraded, but it is worth the effort”, Trang said.

“I consider those my battle scars of honor that help signify my passion for the profession”.

“That mindset helps me do my job”, she exclaimed.

Trang poses with rangers at the Kruger National Park in South Africa in this supplied photo.
Trang poses with rangers at the Kruger National Park in South Africa in this supplied photo.

Kruger National Park has been dubbed the wildlife capital of Africa due the large numbers of elephants and rhinos who call it home.

As such, the local park rangers are the real deal.

“To ward off poachers, the rangers in Kruger National Park are rigorously trained 24/7 much like a soldier. They are always ready to mobilize”, Trang shared.

 “But in truth, they never want to fire at anyone. Like me, they simply seek to safeguard wildlife as best they can”.

For conservationists, “pure, genuine happiness derives from the fact that wildlife can behavior naturally in their habitat without fear of poaching”, Trang admits.

Now that her work has brought her back to Vietnam, she plans to spend her time spreading the conservationist spirit to local youth through a series of collaborative environmental projects.  

“Witnessing students of the next generation wanting to become conservationists, environmentalists, and promising not to abuse wildlife resources, fuels my heart with the desire to keep striving for the better”, Trang said.

Trang is seen at a safari in this supplied photo.
Trang is seen at a safari in this supplied photo.

What does conservation involve?

There are a startling numbers of animals, ranger, and poachers deaths recorded annually around the globe.

Yet the buyers, the direct benefactors of the massacre, still thrive – relatively unaffected by the damage they cause.

“Because there are patrons, there is the need for poaching. In fact, the latter is not to blame.  They only do it to feed themselves and their meager families”, Trang explained at TEDx.

“The role of us conservationists hence is not only to stop the hunt from taking place, but to also persuade the masses against consuming wildlife resources”.

“An equilibrium between human and nature is imperative at all times”, Trang stressed.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Duy Khoi / Tuoi Tre News Contributor

More

Read more

A look inside male brothels

The service of male prostitutes, which is illegal in Vietnam, has increased with the rise of brothels and recent cases of arrests in Ho Chi Minh City

6 years ago

Vietnam ladies’ dens for foreigners in the city

It’s a new disguised ‘variant’ of prostitution in Ho Chi Minh City, in which foreign males enter restaurants to meet and select girls to end their night at private homes or a rented house

6 years ago

Street prostitutes cum robbers

The man in pink jersey gets solicited by two other street girls riding on a bike on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street after he has just rejected another girl

6 years ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news