Hello, I'm Chang and I'm a Vietnamese wildlife conservation scientist. I'm the Director at WildAct, a conservation charity and non-governmental organisation based in Vietnam.
I grew up in Vietnam. From a young age, I was confronted with the ugliness of illegal wildlife trade, seeing chained up monkeys that were offered for sale on the streets and bears that were held to extract bile for Traditional Asian Medicine. After witnessing a bear being treated for his bile, I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to protect not only the bears, but all wildlife in Vietnam. I finished her PhD in Biodiversity Management, researched into the impact of wild animal part use in Traditional Asian Medicine on the African wildlife, at the University of Kent, England.
I am the founder and executive director of WildAct, an NGO which focuses on monitoring the illegal wildlife trade markets and provides conservation education programmes for Vietnamese youth. Since 2018, WildAct organised the first ever master course on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade, in collaboration with the University of Vinh for Vietnamese students and early career conservationists. WildAct is also involved in providing scholarships for exceptional students to conduct their own research. This national capacity building project adds crucial value to the regional and global efforts in combating illegal trade of wildlife products in the long term, especially when Vietnam is still considered as one of the largest illegal trade hubs, transit and consumer countries. All students who signed up to the course in 2019 had now being employed as a full-time staff in wildlife conservation sector in Vietnam.