South Africa's commitment to ensuring the protection of its black and white rhino populations is clear from the partnerships that have been built over the years and the resulting collaboration to conserve the species, says Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Mrs. Barbara.
eerie As the world comes together to mark World Rhino Day, South Africa recognizes that despite pressures from rhino poaching, habitat loss and vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the country remains the state of the largest and potentially influential rhino range in the world.
The High Level Panel report has noted that the proportion of rhinos on private land has increased from around 30% in 2012 to around 60% today, complemented by successes against poaching.
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment has recognized the significant progress made in safety, biological management and responsive legislation with some critical milestones remaining, most notably in community empowerment, demand management and Cabinet approval of the National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking.
Therefore, we are entrusted with a great responsibility that requires all hands on deck.
In terms of the country's overall rhino conservation plan, the private sector is playing an increasingly important role in South Africa and the rest of Africa.
Currently, the private sector is keeping around 60% of South Africa's national herd.
For this reason, the government assumes the construction of alliances and relationships of great importance in the conservation of this iconic species.
The Department, in cooperation with provincial conservation authorities, SANParks, private rhino owners and SAPS, has focused on a more proactive and integrated approach that builds on existing initiatives and blurs the distinction made between national, provincial and private parks by time the situation escalates.
knowledge and information exchange.
Joint investigation teams are working on focused investigations with the support of the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Center (EEFC), ensuring the consolidation of information at the national level and the ability to provide analysis support, not only at the tactical level but also to the teams.
The goal is to strengthen our capacity, not only at the tactical level to prevent and combat poaching, but also our ability to disrupt activities throughout the value chain with a focus on integrated intelligence-driven investigations, including financial aspects.
Over the past year, anti-poaching and conservation efforts have intensified across the country as a joint effort by state conservation areas, government, and private landowners to reduce poaching.
rhinos in South Africa.
A more targeted deployment of resources is being implemented through the deployment of the CMORE situational awareness platform to integrated wildlife areas.
Through this single technology platform, all actors can collaborate, making use of real-time insights and analytical capabilities, linking, for example, camera traps and ranger patrols while integrating a range of other systems.
Information collected and communication flows through the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Center (EEFC) continue to support teams at both the tactical and strategic levels in the public and private sectors.
Our analytical capabilities have also improved, resulting in a greater ability to identify individuals involved in rhino poaching and trafficking and improved and expanded investigations by multi-disciplinary teams.
From a biological management standpoint, the department, in collaboration with the Rhino Management Group and all relevant stakeholders, is in the process of reviewing White Rhino Biodiversity Management Plans (BMPs).
and black, respectively.
Another important measure of recent success in managing the rhino metapopulation has been the successful translocation of 27 rhinos from South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique.
This historic and pioneering reconstruction initiative is the result of a partnership between the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) of Mozambique, the Peace Parks Foundation and Exxaro Resources, in collaboration with the governments of South Africa and Mozambique.
Mozambique and South Africa.
Working on a two- to three-year timeline, the project is already well on its way to relocating more than 40 rhinos in Mozambique in a series of highly coordinated and carefully managed rebuilding operations.
The first 20 white rhinos and seven black rhinos introduced to Zinave earlier this year are thriving.