In a groundbreaking move to halt the relentless poaching of Rhinos, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has partnered with Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), a Vietnamese non-profit NGO, to develop a hard hitting rhino protection campaign for countries where rhino horn is in great demand, starting with Vietnam.
Said Rynette Coetzee, Project Executant of the EWT’s Law and Policy Programme: “We are extremely excited about our partnership with ENV. We are certain that our campaign, with this crucial buy in from a respected and well known Vietnamese NGO, will help us to turn the tide on the plight of the rhino. Our message: Say NO to rhino horn, is an invitation to all the people of Vietnam to join the people in South Africa to help conserve Africa’s rhinos for today’s and tomorrow’s generations. By saying NO to rhino horn, the demand for rhino horn will decrease, and in this way, the slaughter of these magnificent animals could come to an end.”
The campaign consists of posters, media outreach and an online component and will be executed in both English and Vietnamese. “In Vietnam, the campaign elements will be distributed virally through websites, social media channels, forums and blogs, and displayed during ENV awareness activities such as public exhibitions and university programmes. The joint venture marks the first formal co-operation between ENV and a South African organization mutually committed to ending the killing of rhinos and we at ENV are absolutely committed to its success,” commented Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy of ENV’s Communication and Public Awareness Unit.
Rhino poaching has been on the rise since 2008 with a staggering 668 rhinos killed in South Africa at the end of 2012. The EWT believes that there is no single solution to addressing illegal wildlife trade, which is an increasing global phenomenon, estimated to be the third largest illegal industry worldwide after drugs and human trafficking. Wildlife trade often has its roots firmly established in organised and trans-boundary crimes. For this reason the EWT’s Rhino Project is implementing interventions at several stages in the poaching and wildlife trade chain. These interventions include: # Improving the detection of wildlife contraband through the deployment of wildlife detection dogs. Thus far the EWT has deployed four sniffer dogs at OR Tambo International airport with plans to secure dogs in additional airports throughout South Africa;
# Improving the detection of wildlife contraband through capacity building and training;
# Supporting and facilitating the reporting of information to the authorities;
# Supporting anti-poaching efforts in Zimbabwe by trialling anti-poaching dogs;Deploying a rhino horn detection dog in Limpopo;
# Supporting selected provincial government organisations through the provision of equipment and resources;
# Supporting selected private reserves; # Contributing to the standardisation of anti-poaching training;
# Implementing the Rhino Orphan Response Project, which focuses on improving rescue and rehabilitation through emergency response and training;
# Reducing the involvement of lodge and reserve staff directly or indirectly with poaching through the development of a community based support project;
# Promoting the consistent and effective implementation of legislation around rhino; # Providing awareness raising and support to the judiciary involved in rhino poaching cases; and
# Influencing the legal framework to contribute to enforcement.
For further information and comment please contact Rynette Coetzee, Project Executant of the EWT’s Law and Policy Programme, on firstname.lastname@example.org and Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy of ENV’s Communication and Public Awareness Unit on email@example.com.