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Africa plans to boost rhino numbers
September 26, 2016, 5:52 pm

The new plan announced in South Africa yesterday relies on strong cooperation from range countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and others to boost the number of rhinos, already an endangered species [Xinhua]

The new plan announced in South Africa yesterday relies on strong cooperation from range countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and others to boost the number of rhinos, already an endangered species [Xinhua]


South Africa has proposed a plan two years in the making to save rhinos from extinction on the continent.

Late on Sunday in Johannesburg, Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa brought forward the African Range State’s African Rhino Conservation Plan which she says presents a viable mechanism for the collective to maintain rhino populations in Africa.

The plan which was worked out in workshops held over the course of two years, will “enhance effective conservation funding, increase cooperative sharing and analysis of intelligence information, and boost political will and support for rhino conservation across the continent”.

“The plan does not seek to duplicate existing more detailed national rhino plans, but rather seeks to complement them by providing an overarching higher-level umbrella plan under which all the national plans can fit,” she said.

Mike Knight, the Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the Species Survival Commission’s African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), says that rhino populations fell 97 per cent between 1960 and 1990.

That has likely worsened in the past 26 years.

Knight told audience members during the plan’s launch in Johannesburg that the objective is to adequately protect rhinos and secure their derivatives by the implementation of effective legislation and strengthened coordinated collaborative law enforcement actions (between countries and across different arms of government).

“Improved investigation, increased cooperative intelligence sharing and analysis, effective prosecution and application of best available technology knowledge and skills” will help reach that goal, he added.

Molewa’s plan was unveiled on the sidelines of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which opened on Saturday.

CITES already fully bans the trade in rhino horn, but some are proposing that lab grown horn be exempt from the ban as a means to end poaching.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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