|Source: WWF South Africa|
The South African Minister of Environmental Affairs recently reported in paliarment that a total number of 139 rhinos were killed in private and national game reserves between 1 January to 1 July of this year.
Media reports have estimated the figures to be around 182 dead rhinos at present in South Africa. The increased killings and poaching of Rhinos horns is also a phenomenon occuring in other African countries, particularly in Kenya. This has resulted in the international community joining hands and launching joint operations to curtail the incessent killings and illegal trading of the horns. It is an environmental catastrophe, wiedely acknowledged interantionally as requiring a multi-sectoral approach.
Donald Mwiturubani, recently highlighted in his article Markets for Wildlife Products in Asia continue to threaten wildlife resources in Africa, "this calls for concerted efforts by governemts through judiciary, legal and security experts including environmental law enfrocement agencies to come up with results-oriented strategies for curbing environmental crime". He also acknowledges and suports INTERPOL's intitiatives on environmetal crime, including its Wildlife Group meeting in Lyon, France.
It is my opinion that communities neer game parks need to be engaged in such joint operations as they are vital links in providing information on poaching activities. This calls for tip offs and other incentives as instruments for facilitating cooperation between the security agents and the community. Public campaigns on anti-poaching are aslo essential in local communities as vehicles for creating creating awareness on the plight. I sencerely believe more can be done, and your views are welcome.To gain infromation on current efforts and to be involved in the anti-poaching rhino campaign, click the website link below: