South Africa: Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Celebrates World Rhino Day

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South Africa’s commitment to ensuring the protection of its black and white rhino populations is demonstrated by the partnerships it has formed over the years and the resulting collaboration to conserve the species, says Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Gruselig.

As the world unites on World Rhino Day, South Africa recognizes that despite pressures from rhino poaching, habitat loss and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, the country remains the most important and potentially most influential state in rhino areas in the world.

The High Level Panel’s report found that the percentage of rhinos on private land has increased from around 30% in 2012 to around 60% now, complemented by successes in combating poaching.

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment has acknowledged significant progress in the areas of safety, biological management and responsive legislation, with some crucial milestones still to come, notably related to community empowerment, demand management and cabinet approval of the National Strategy to combat wildlife trade. We are therefore entrusted with a great responsibility that requires all hands on deck.

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The private sector in South Africa and the rest of Africa is playing an increasing role in the country’s overall plan for rhino conservation. Currently, the private sector conserves about 60% of South Africa’s national herd. Therefore, the government takes the building of partnerships and relationships for the preservation of this iconic species of paramount importance.

The department, in collaboration with provincial conservation agencies, SANParks, private rhino owners and the SAPS, is focused on a more proactive and integrated approach that builds on existing initiatives and blurs the distinction between national, provincial and private parks while increasing situational awareness and sharing Information. Joint investigative teams, with support from the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Center (EEFC), work on targeted investigations to ensure nationwide consolidation of information and the ability to provide analytical support, not only at a tactical level, but also for investigative teams. The goal is to strengthen our ability, not only at a tactical level, to prevent and combat poaching, but also our ability to disrupt activities along the value chain, with a focus on integrated, intelligence-led investigations, including the financial aspects.

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Over the past year, conservation and anti-poaching efforts have intensified nationwide as a concerted effort by state sanctuaries, the government and private landowners to reduce rhino poaching in South Africa. A more targeted use of resources will be implemented through the introduction of the CMORE platform for situational awareness in the integrated wildlife zones. This single technology platform allows all role players to work together, leveraging real-time insight and analytics capabilities such as connecting camera traps and ranger patrols while also integrating a range of other systems.

The information gathered and communication flows through the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Center (EEFC) continue to support teams at both tactical and strategic levels in both the private and public sectors. Our analytical skills have also improved, resulting in an increased capacity to identify those involved in rhino poaching and trafficking, as well as improved and expanded investigations by multidisciplinary teams.

From a biological management perspective, the department, in partnership with the Rhino Management Group and all relevant stakeholders, is in the process of revising the Black and White Rhino Biodiversity Management Plans (BMPs).

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Another important benchmark of recent success in rhino metapopulation management was the successful translocation of 27 rhinos from South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique.

This pioneering and pioneering rewilding initiative is the result of a partnership between Mozambique’s National Conservation Administration (ANAC), the Peace Parks Foundation and Exxaro Resources in collaboration with the governments of South Africa and Mozambique. Mozambique and South Africa.

The project is working on a two to three year timeframe and is already on track to relocate more than 40 rhinos to Mozambique in a series of highly coordinated and carefully managed release operations. The first 20 white rhinos and seven black rhinos introduced to Zinave earlier this year are thriving.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the South African Government.

This press release was issued by APO. The content is not monitored by the African Business editorial team and the content has not been reviewed or validated by our editors, proofreaders or fact-checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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