Let the people save the rhino

2014-09-02 19:53
(File, Volksblad)

(File, Volksblad)

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Cape Town - Government on Tuesday repeated its intention to rope in people living around reserves and national parks to help curb ever-increasing rhino poaching.

"The protection and conservation of our heritage must involve in a massive way our communities and our children," Parliament's environmental affairs portfolio committee chair Jackson Mthembu told MPs in the National Assembly.

Speaking during a special debate on rhino poaching, he said a call for such involvement had come across strongly during ongoing public hearings on rhino poaching.

"[We] should go out to communities and inform them on these matters so that the matters of environmental protection, including the rhino, become societal matters," he said.

So far this year, more than 730 rhino have been killed for their horns by poachers. Over 1 000 were killed last year.

Public hearings are set to continue over the next fortnight, involving communities in Mpumalanga and North West.

Speaking during the debate, Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the involvement of communities was a key element in the fight to stop poaching.

"Recent public hearings confirmed the importance of community involvement."

She repeated government's intention to pursue the possibility of legally selling stockpiled rhino horn in an effort to economically undermine the sale of poached horns, which fetch huge prices in South-East Asian countries.

Since 2010, more than 3 000 rhino have been poached in South Africa.

Read more on:    edna molewa  |  jackson mthembu  |  rhino poaching

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