Rhino fund to help beat poachers

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    16 September 2013

    The Department of Environmental Affairs, in consultation with the National Treasury, is to establish a National Rhino Fund to coordinate the financing of anti-poaching initiatives in South Africa.

    Government, business, international funders, local NGOs and individuals will be able to contribute to the fund, which will then ensure “that funding is distributed successfully to state and privately owned rhino anti-poaching initiatives, including conservation, safety and security, skills development and research,” the department said on Monday.

    At the same time, the fund’s autonomy would enable legitimate funding needs to be identified and met quickly, rather than be caught up in red tape.

    Calls for organisations to register

    Meanwhile, the department has inviting all NPOs, NGOs, businesses and individuals involved in raising awareness or funding to address rhino poaching to register with the department by e-mailing relevant name, contacts and project details to Ms Olga Kumalo on okumalo@environment.gov.za.

    The registration drive seeks to rid the sector of dodgy operations while ensuring the legitimacy of organisations and individuals involved in projects genuinely aimed at tackling the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa.

    “The establishment of a national database, and of a credible national financing mechanism for rhino anti-poaching, were agreed to by government and rhino stakeholders during a public engagement on 12 July 2013,” the department noted.

    The total number of rhino poached in South Africa since January 2013 has increased to 635, while the number of people arrested for rhino poaching-related offences has climbed to 194. The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of the attacks, with 396 rhino killed for their horns this year.

    South Africans are encouraged to report incidents of poaching via the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111, or Crime Line on 32211.

    Source: SAnews.gov.za