Top officials from Vietnam, the United States and the international wildlife community joined forces today to launch “Operation Game Change” in Hanoi, coinciding with World Wildlife Day. “OGC” is bringing governments, NGOs, students and celebrities together from Vietnam, USA and South Africa to stop the illegal trade in rhino horn, while encouraging everyone to stop buying all endangered species. OGC will culminate with a nationally televised event and concert in September 2015 to coincide with World Rhino Day.
Committed to the success and partnership of OGC, and seated left, are from left: Steven Galster, Director of Freeland Foundation; USA Ambassador to Vietnam, Theodore G. Osius; H.E. Cao Duc Phat, Minister, Ministry of Agricultural Development, H.E. Bui Cach Tuyen, Vice Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Mr. Vu Anh Tuan, celebrity MC.
Vietnamese and South African youth have joined Operation Game Change. Pictured from left are: Claire A. Pierangelo, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Nguyen Tuan Nam and Nguyen Ha Nhung, who along with other Vietnamese students, visited South Africa last year to learn about the plight of the rhino. More youth exchanges between Vietnam and South Africa are slated for this year.
Operation Game Change is being supported by the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Government of Vietnam, and Freeland.