Rhino poaching on the rise

2012-12-10 14:13
(Green Renaissance)

(Green Renaissance)

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Johannesburg – A total of 618 rhino have been poached in South Africa so far this year, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has said.

“As the toll mounts, it is clear that everyone has a critical role to play in this war against poaching,” Molewa said after signing a memorandum of understanding with her Vietnamese counterpart.

According to a statement from Molewa's office, the pact was signed in Hanoi with Vietnamese Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Dr Cao Duc Phat.

It was meant to promote co-operation in biodiversity between the two countries, and was particularly aimed at curbing rhino poaching.

The provinces hardest hit by poaching were Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and the North West.

The total number of arrests in connection with the poaching totalled 257.

“The continued slaughter of the rhino is a cause for concern,” Molewa said.

“South Africa continues to vigorously implement various interventions in a bid to curb poaching... we believe that this latest development at an international level is crucial to effectively deal with the current scourge.”

Poaching and the illegal hunting of rhinos were largely driven by the international demand for rhino horn, she said.

“The signing of this... adds to our arsenal against rhino poaching and increases the number of role players working toward curbing rhino poaching.”

The agreement would remain in force for five years, after which it might be extended with the consent of both countries.

- SAPA

Read more on:    edna molewa  |  rhino poaching  |  poaching
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