Tạ Thị Hương Giang
I am working as Programme Coordinator at WildAct, a conservation charity and non-governmental organisation based in Hanoi, Vietnam. My interest is public awareness raising and behavior change through conservation educational activities. I would love to develop and widely promote academic programs so the Vietnamese young generation can benefit from it.
Which ASAP species you are working to conserve, and can you tell us a little about your work?
On all education activities, we focus on Critically Endangered species in Vietnam such as green sea turtle, Asia elephant, pangolin, bear, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Ha Tinh langur, etc.
We have a wide range of educational activities suitable for different ages and audiences. For instance, we established Wild Libraries which provides a platform through which children learn the value of nature conservation to them and their families' lives, and also creates unique and much-needed opportunities for teachers in remote areas to improve their knowledge and understanding of conservation issues, so they can best continue this important work. We often organise competitions, games, experience-nature trips for school children to encourage them to take action to protect wildlife.
WildAct has developed the first Government recognised short courses at master level in combating the illegal wildlife trade and in captive animal welfare. These courses have been made possible through collaboration and huge support from the conservation community in Vietnam and beyond. Our courses in 2021 featured guest speakers from Animals Asia Foundation, FourPaws, Asian Turtle Programme, Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, Embassy of Spain, SASA, Animal Doctor International and Vietnam National University, Hanoi – School of Law.
How do you think the ASAP Women in Conservation Leadership Programme will help you in carrying out your work?
The programme provides me useful learning tool where I can study and practice fundraising skills, proposals writing and communication. The programme curriculum is formal, basic and easy to understand.
I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the ASAP Woman in Conservation Leadership Programme as it brought me not only professional knowledge, but also a priceless chance to learn from senior conservationists and colleagues.
What inspired you to start a career in conservation?
I am always attracted and overwhelmed by interesting things about the natural world. When I was on a business trip to Con Dao island to work on a project that was conserving green sea turtles, I was lucky enough to witness a nest of around 100 baby turtles newly hatched. That was the first time I saw this amazing creature and the first time I helped to release a rare wild animal into the wild - and it was 100 baby sea turtles! Watching those footprints and little flippers struggling to swim was an unforgettable experience for a young girl. That moment taught my emotion as we celebrated same day for birthday 😀
Although only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood as they face a number of threats from natural predators to human activities like fishing or illegal hunting and trading of sea turtles, I still believe that my 100 baby turtles could be strong, grown up and healthy. No matter where they swim, where they live, there are conservationists around the world working hard to protect them and their habitats. This thought motivates me to make contributions and continue pursuing the career that I have chosen.