At least 150 restaurants in the northern province of Nam Dinh will leave wild animals off their menus for a campaign launched against the consumption of endangered wildlife in Vietnam by the World Wildlife Fund.
WWF and global wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC launched "Green Restaurant" to promote establishments that do not serve endangered animals, and project coordinator Julianne Becker said it could eventually expand to petitioning restaurants that do.
The first response came from Hanoi where 160 restaurants signed pledges last year not to serve animals during certain months.
In Nam Dinh the 150 restaurants will not serve bears, tigers, or cobras between February and June this year.
The campaign will be monitored there out by the B&G (Blue and Green) Club together with 40 student volunteers.
Restaurants that fulfill their commitment will be added to a list of approved “Green Restaurants” that is being circulated by the media and travel agencies.
The campaign, a part of ‘A Matter of Attitude’ project run by WWF Vietnam and TRAFFIC, seeks to raise awareness and change attitudes towards the consumption of wildlife and wildlife products that is plaguing Vietnam.
A TRAFFIC survey found that the consumption of wildlife for food, souvenirs, and medicine has become increasingly popular in Hanoi among residents who can afford “luxury” wildlife items as their income levels rise as well as amongst tourists.
It is having an alarming effect on the populations of wild plants and animals. Poaching and trade of protected species have pushed many, including the Javan rhinoceros, Asian elephant, and Indochinese tiger to the brink of extinction in the country, according to TRAFFIC.