US donates high-tech equipment to help fight rhino poaching
Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 09 February 2016
The donation was announced by US Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, when she met South African Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa, as part of strengthening co-operation in, among others, the illegal wildlife trade.
According to her spokesman Albi Modise, the donation of survival, surveillance and investigative equipment is part of the $3 million (about R48 million) pledged by Obama when he visited South Africa in 2013.
“The funding comes through the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and demonstrates the increased focus on combatting wildlife trafficking across Africa, as laid out in the 2014 National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking,” Modise said.
In addition to South Africa, Jewell also visited Gabon and Kenya to meet with government officials, non-government organisations and conservation leaders to ensure continuation of American efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife products in the US and other countries.
READ MORECommunities supporting poachers must be targeted - Hawks boss
Rhino kill in 2015 slightly down, Minister says poaching has “stabilised”
Lack of rhino kill information is negatively affecting anti-poaching efforts
A US Department of the Interior statement said: “Black markets in the US and abroad are contributing to record high demand for wildlife products, which has a devastating impact on species such as elephants and rhinoceroses, pushing them into further decline and even near extinction. Criminal elements, including insurgent groups, are involved in poaching and transporting ivory and rhino horn across Africa.
“African countries are major source countries for ivory, rhino horn and other illegally taken flora and fauna destined predominantly for markets in Asia. Secretary Jewell travelled to China and Vietnam last summer in a similar effort to further work to crack down on these black markets both at home and internationally.
“This international outreach is part of President Obama’s National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. The President’s July 2013 Executive Order established an inter-agency Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking co-chaired by Secretary Jewell to develop and implement the strategy, as well as an Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking. As stated in the President’s Executive Order, wildlife trafficking reduces the economic, social and environmental benefits of wildlife while generating billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to an illegal economy, fuelling instability and undermining security.”
Last month Molewa said the rhino poaching situation in South Africa “stabilised’ last year. There were 1 175 rhinos killed, down by 40 on the previous year’s all-time high of 1 215
Top stories this week
Williams takes the lead in Formula One with Thales cyber security solutions
by Thales, 22 July 2016
Thales will deliver cyber security solutions for real-time global telemetry transmission to Williams Martini Racing and Williams Advanced Engineering.
First batch of Denel vehicles shipped to UAE client
by Denel Corporate, 20 July 2016
The RG31 is a Mobile Mortar Platform that is regarded for its 4x4 capabilities, mobility and the protection it offers against anti-tank mines and explosive devices.
Saab to supply KleinPort port management system to Curacao Ports Authority
by Saab, 20 July 2016
Saab will install the latest version of its KleinPort system for CPA's harbour management system.