Request for Proposals to:
Develop and Implement an Initiative to Reduce the Demand for Illegal Wild Meat in Thailand
1. Project Partners
TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development to help ensure that wildlife trade is not a threat to the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC has been at the forefront of innovation within the field of Social and Behavioural Change (SBC) initiatives in the conservation sector, running multiple projects with relevant stakeholders to reduce the demand of specific groups of consumers for products from a variety of threatened wildlife.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international conservation charity working to create a world where wildlife thrives. From investigating the health threats facing animals to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, ZSL is committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction through science, field conservation around the world, and engaging millions of people through ZSL’s two Zoos, ZSL London and ZSL Whipsnade Zoos.
The large-scale consumption of wildlife parts, products, and derivatives across the globe is increasingly being recognized as a driving factor toward substantial declines in populations of many species. Wildlife is purchased and consumed for a variety of reasons, including for nutrition, as pets, as medicines, for spiritual and aesthetic reasons, and many more. While there have been many reports which show that wildlife trade in Thailand is significant, very little was known about the consumption of wild meat in the country.
In early 2021, TRAFFIC / ZSL commissioned GlobeScan (a research consultancy specialized in behavior change on wildlife consumption) to conduct formative research in Thailand to gain more insights into wild meat consumption, consumer profiles, purchasing habits, motivations, and potential deterrents. The research findings will be used to develop a demand reduction initiative that will engage and resonate with selected priority groups of wild meat consumers and increase their awareness of the key issues related to it, change their attitudes, and start to change their behaviour and thereby reduce their demand for illegal wild meat. The full report can be accessed upon request.
For the purposes of this initiative, “wild meat” refers to meat from non-domestic, non-livestock terrestrial animals (non-insect and non-aquatic) i.e., any wild mammal, bird, or reptile. In contrast, “domestic meat” refers to meat from livestock such as beef, chicken or pork and includes fish. It is not illegal to consume all wild meat, for example species such as wild boar, junglefowl, deer and snakes are legal to consume.
3. Initiative Objective
The consumption of wild meat is widespread in Thailand. The research shows that 32% of the urban population have consumed it in the past 12 months and there is a similar proportion of those who intend to consume it in the future. It is deeply rooted in the country’s cultural heritage and has broad social acceptance. The impact of this consumption is the decline in the populations of some protected and/or endangered species. Therefore, sustained long-term and large-scale efforts are required to change the behaviour of wild meat eaters, but to date there have been no concerted efforts to do so.
The objective of this initiative, the first to tackle wild meat consumption in Thailand, is to communicate that it is no longer socially acceptable to purchase and consume wild meat and thereby reduce demand among the priority target group. This will be achieved by increasing their awareness of the impacts, including the decline in the populations of many species and also potential disease/health risks and illegality of consuming some species, which will start to change the social norms and attitudes towards the consumption of wild meat.
The legal and sustainability status of the multiple species consumed as wild meat is complex. Some species can be consumed legally and are not endangered, but others are protected (illegal to consume) and / or endangered because they are consumed at unsustainable levels. Furthermore, some species are known to carry greater health risks than others. To simplify the messaging and thereby maximise the impact of the initiative, differentiation between legal and illegal and between endangered species and those of no concern will not be made, instead reference should be made to all wild meat.
4. Primary Target Audience
The research shows that 32% of urban Thai consumers intend to consume wild meat within the next 12 months. Within that broad group, the primary target group with a higher propensity to consume are younger (18-30 years old), more affluent urban consumers who travel regularly (domestically, and internationally before the pandemic). They choose to consume wild meat for reasons outlined below and do not rely on it for nutrition. There is no intention to target the predominantly rural, lower income population who consume wild meat for sustenance.
Wild meat consumption is highest in Southern Thailand, whilst North-eastern and Northern Thailand are the most popular regions for those travelling to consume wild meat.
Psychographic and Behavioural
Wild meat consumption is often a social event, with most people (60%) of those who consume wild meat eating it with their family or friends at home.
Events such as festivals (27%) and while travelling domestically (19%) are important occasions for eating wild meat but 30% say they had no specific occasion for the last time they ate wild meat, indicating that it is common consumption behavior beyond special events as well.
The primary drivers are the perceived superior taste, to satisfy curiosity, and perceived health benefits (it is considered to be more natural). Eating wild meat also has (other) emotional benefits such as a sense of accomplishment, excitement, and novelty.
Those who felt that they were influenced to try / eat it are primarily influenced by their peers, such as their friends (38%), acquaintances (33%), and work colleagues (28%), though 31% say they made the decision solely by themselves.
Among participants who ate wild meat in the past 12 months but do not intend to eat it again in the future (16% of all people interviewed), the primary reasons are because of cruelty to animals, to preserve nature, legal concerns, and disease concerns.
The most important barriers related to wild meat are health concerns and the stigmatization associated with the hunting of wild animals (which is increasingly socially unacceptable).
The functional benefits of eating wild meat are taste and flavour. The emotional benefits include a sense of accomplishment, excitement, and novelty, and also the perceived status attached to wild meat consumption (“improves my image”).
Messages which increase the awareness of the barriers could detract from the perceived functional and emotional benefits and lead to a change in attitudes towards wild meat eating.
The potential structure for inspiring messages that could change attitudes and ultimately behaviour can be summarised by the following diagram, in which the size of the arrows visualizes the strength of the drivers of consumption:
The most trusted and persuasive messengers include academics and research institutions, scientists, doctors and federal and state governments. Key opinion leaders (KOLs), including influencers and celebrities, could be utilised to share and amplify messages from these trusted messengers. For example, celebrity chefs could be engaged to propose alternative recipes and alternative ingredients for famous dishes consumed when travelling to certain regions.
7. Communication Channels
32% of the participants in the quantitative research, representing the urban population of Thailand, intend to buy and consume wild meat in the future. The highest-risk consumers within this group can be identified, reached, and engaged primarily through online precision targeting based on their online behaviour. It is planned to utilise social media and other online platforms such as Facebook, Google Ads, Line, YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitter, and Instagram. Creative agency should indicate suggested prioritization of social media, with accompanying budgets.
8. Creative Considerations
The proposal should:
Be engaging and resonate with the primary target audience and should address their underlying motivations to purchase illegal wild meat for consumption.
Focus on what people should do rather than not do, and not just the conservation reasons why.
Not imply that those who purchase illegal wild meat are “wrong”, but instead for example highlight that it is no longer socially acceptable to purchase or consume these products because the animals may be endangered, carry disease and be illegal to consume.
Use shock tactics and highlight negative consequences only carefully (if at all).
Highlight tangible, personal, short-term rewards, rather than more distant long-term biodiversity gains.
Propose alternatives through which the underlying motivations to consume wild meat can be fulfilled. Consider including imagery of the target audience already doing / enjoying the alternative desired behaviour such as consuming alternative meals with safe, legal and sustainable ingredients.
Avoid implying that consuming illegal wild meat is a social norm/pervasive and widespread, instead imply that rejecting wild meat is increasingly common.
The indicative budget for the initiative is USD 185,000. This includes:
the development of a creative strategy
the design and production of creative materials including key visuals and message
pre-testing the campaign materials with members of the target audience and adjusting as necessary
disseminating the materials through priority online and offline channels
evaluating the outputs of the initiative (such as reach, engagement and interactions)
the fee payable by TRAFFIC is inclusive of any sales taxes that may be chargeable by the consultant. Any liability for sales taxes payable outside of the UK rests with the consultant.
note: the outcomes of the initiative (such as changes in awareness, attitudes and intended behaviour) will be evaluated separately by a third-party research agency)
10. Draft Timeline
01 September –
01 November –
14 January 2022
11. Next Steps
As part of responding to this RFP, offerors are required to develop and submit the following deliverables and a cost proposal:
Creative strategy and plan for a Social and Behaviour Change initiative that increases the awareness, changes the attitudes and addresses the underlying motivations of the target audience to consume wild meat so that future intention to buy and consume declines. The proposal should incorporate insights from the research by GlobeScan. As part of the development process the agency should arrange to pre-test the creative proposals and adapt them accordingly to ensure that they are optimized before dissemination.
Examples of initial key visuals, messaging and communication assets, including a call-to-action. Final materials will follow the branding guidelines of TRAFFIC, UNDP, GEF and DNP (details to be provided), and will be in Thai. English subtitles will be added when appropriate.
Draft multi-media summary dissemination plan (primarily online but may also include specific offline media) including engagement plan for KOLs/social influencers who are considered credible and aspirational by the target audience to amplify the initiative.
Summary of how the outputs of the initiative will be evaluated.
The proposal should also include:
Suitability for the work including examples of relevant past work
Draft budget (using the budget summary template in Annex 1)
CVs of Key Personnel
Proof of Incorporation
Please send by 10 Sebtember 2021 via email to Katie Mabbutt, Project Support Officer, TRAFFIC
For more information about TRAFFIC and ZSL visit www.traffic.org and www.zsl.org
TRAFFIC International is a UK Registered Charity No. 1076722, Registered Limited Company No. 3785518.
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