South Africa is to intensify its anti-poaching strategy. (Image: WWF UK) MEDIA CONTACTS Albi ModiseDept of Environmental Affairs spokesperson+27 83 490 2871 or +27 12 310 3122RELATED ARTICLES • Rescuing the white rhino • South Africa’s national parks • Kruger Park booked out for 2010 • Rhinos return to Uganda• Free entry into SA national parksJanine ErasmusWater and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has announced the formation of a new special investigations team dedicated to the eradication of rhino poaching. This will help safeguard one of South Africa’s most enduring tourist attractions, its wildlife.The initiative could not have come sooner. Horrifying statistics show that since January 2009 84 rhino have been killed by poachers in provinces across South Africa. A breakdown reveals that the world-famous Kruger National Park is the country’s poaching hotspot, with KwaZulu-Natal’s rhino-rich nature reserves not far behind.The current poaching statistics are as follows:Kruger National Park: 33Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife: 19Gauteng: 3North West: 5Limpopo: 7Eastern Cape: 1Mpumalanga: 16Sonjica made the announcement at a September 2009 meeting between herself, deputy environment minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi and various members of the executive council (MEC) from the provinces. The meeting was held to discuss new strategies to fight the recent spate of rhino deaths.The new unit is expected to tackle not only poaching, but other high-priority and organised environmental and conservation crimes. It forms part of an integrated anti-poaching strategy in which the Department of Environmental Affairs is working closely with all provinces where rhino are found.Experts hope that the unit will function in much the same way as the former Endangered Species Protection Unit of the South African Police Service. From 1989 until its disbandment in 2003 this elite unit was responsible for wildlife crime investigation and notched up great successes in its fight against international trade in endangered species.Coordinated effortsDuring the meeting the delegates discussed ways of supporting the anti-poaching initiatives of various conservation authorities around the country.The national parks authority, South African National Parks (Sanparks), is to lead a task team of conservation agencies from all provinces, with the aim of coordinating their efforts.Earlier in the year, as part of the integrated strategy, the Department of Environmental Affairs established a national biodiversity investigators’ forum in its Biodiversity and Conservation branch.This initiative enables the coordination of biodiversity-related law enforcement work, such as the efforts to stamp out rhino poaching, and will help authorities enforce national environmental legislation.War against poachingWhile poaching is still rife, the ongoing war against poachers is proving fruitful. Sanparks recently announced that it would channel US$260 000 (R2-million) from the Parks Development Fund into providing an additional 57 game rangers in the Kruger Park and equipping them with motorbikes, enabling them to cover their patrol areas more efficiently.The funds will also provide for the installation of a hi-tech crime information management system. Sanparks hopes that these new developments will give it the edge over would-be poachers.A further blow to criminal activities is the return of the South African military to patrol the vulnerable 450km national border between South Africa and Mozambique, in the east of the park. Military patrols along the border stopped three years ago.All 33 poached rhinos in the Kruger Park were killed along the eastern border, said Sanparks.“We intend to increase our efforts even more in ensuring that this scourge is routed out,” said Sanparks CEO David Mabunda. “Discussions have been started with Mozambican authorities to solicit their assistance in apprehending suspects and preventing illegal activities from proliferating on their side of the fence.”During 2009 at least 14 poachers, all of Mozambican origin, have been arrested and several illegal firearms seized in the Kruger Park. Altogether, 22 poachers around South Africa have been taken into custody since the beginning of 2009.In KwaZulu-Natal, which has also seen a surge in the number of rhino deaths, several suspects have been arrested in recent months. By late September 2009 the province had lost 19 rhino to poachers, 15 in areas managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – formerly known as the Natal Parks Board – and four in private reserves.In January 2009 police and wildlife authorities cracked an international rhino-smuggling ring and arrested 11 people of South African, Chinese and Mozambican origin.Zero toleranceA report released in July 2009 by the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, says that illegal international trade in rhino horns is almost at a 15-year high.But South Africa is sending out a stern warning that it will not tolerate this unlawful trade: “Poachers must beware, because we will seek them out, we will find them and they will be dealt with. This is a war that we plan on winning,” Mabunda said.Queries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SharePrint RelatedEssentials for Your Geocaching AdventureMay 28, 2013In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Why You Should Log Your DNF’s – Geocaching.com Weekly MailerAugust 22, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Geocaching Year in ReviewJanuary 4, 2013In “Française” Smart Geocaching with a Smartphone AppGeocachers are known for being prepared — from bug spray to backup batteries. Now you can be prepared to go geocaching almost anywhere, anytime (even if you forget to download geocaches to your handheld GPS device).Take the power of Geocaching.com on the go with the official Geocaching.com smartphone app. The app makes the journey to log your next smiley as simple as clicking, “Find Nearby Geocaches.” You’re also able to hone your spontaneous quest for geocaches with an advanced search and sort geocaches by Favorite Points, cache type, and more. Geocaching.com offers apps for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Do you have a different type of phone? See if one of our third-party developers makes an app for you.International Geocaching Day — August 18Earn a souvenir as geocachers unite on August 18 to celebrate International Geocaching Day. It’s a day devoted enjoying what you love — geocaching. Geocachers who log an “Attended” at an Event Cache or a “Found it” for another cache type on International Geocaching Day earn a souvenir for their Geocaching.com profile page.Thousands of adventurers will attend one of more than 250 International Geocaching Day events around the globe. Check out the Geocaching.com Event Calendar to find an International Geocaching Day event near you. Don’t forget to share pictures and stories from your International Geocaching Day adventures on the official Geocaching.com Facebook page.Share with your Friends:More read more
Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes “It’s still not the kind of game I’m looking for,” said Pamilar, whose squad improved to 1-3.“I’m still searching for someone on my team who will take the lead. We need to have one player who can carry us inside the court,” he added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsJovelyn Prado showed signs of a potential leader as she turned in 22 points while Regine Arocha added 18.The Power Smashers redeemed themselves after dropping a game against Adamson on Wednesday. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES “The loss to Adamson played a big factor with the way we played tonight,” said Pamilar.Nicole Tiamzon and Ella De Jesus combined for 42 points for the Fighters, who slid to 1-3.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games The Power Smashers finally ended their search for a first win after outlasting Perlas BanKo 25-22, 16-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12, in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.But head coach Nes Pamilar has yet to see the kind of performance that his team is capable of.ADVERTISEMENT Why are Jason Castro and Terrence Romeo special for Gilas? View comments read more