Trang Nguyen (Vietnam, 27 years old) is a PhD Candidate in Biodiversity Management, working on the impact of traditional Asian Medicine on African Wildlife, at the University of Kent, England. She started her career in conservation in 2003, as a volunteer at several conservation NGO’s. At the age of 17, she was nominated as one of the ‘50 most influential young people of Vietnam’. From 2014 onwards she specialized in traffic and illegal trade of African and Southeast Asia’s endangered species, with a specific focus on bears, rhinos, pangolins and elephant ivory.
As the founder and executive director of WildAct she focuses on monitoring the illegal wildlife trade markets and provides conservation education programs for Vietnamese and Cambodian youth. She led a program bringing Vietnamese students to South Africa to learn about the rhino crisis.
Trang aims to use the Future For Nature Award to create of a tailor-made master’s degree course focusing on the pervasive problem of illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam. She already designed the course with support from professors of Vinh University, Free the Bears, World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC Vietnam. Her own organisation, WildAct, will also be involved in providing scholarships for exceptional students to conduct their own research. This project will add 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.