Three KwaZulu Natal Conservation agencies have joined forces and launched a strategic partnership aimed at developing ideas to fight rhino poaching.Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (Ezemvelo), the Wildlands Conservation Trust (Wildlands) and the African Conservation Trust (ACT) have formed a strategic partnership aimed at stopping rhino poaching in all of Ezemvelo protected areas.
"The poaching of our Province's rhino can only be stopped through a collaborative effort. Wildlands and ACT are key partners. We met to explore ways in which we can work more closely to stop this poaching, and it is with pleasure that I can announce that Wildlands and ACT have agreed to actively help us develop our capacity and secure the resources which we need to effectively protect our rhino", said Dr Bandile Mkhize, CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
The Wildlands CEO, Dr Andrew Venter, and ACT CEO, Francois Du Toit will meet on a regular basis with Dr Mkhize and senior Ezemvelo staff to develop their understanding of the challenges which the organisation is facing, with a view to channelling the resources of the Wildlands network to address these challenges.
"The rhino onslaught has taken us all by surprise. Conservation has made great strides towards becoming inclusive and community based over the past decade. This sits at the heart of both the Ezemvelo and Wildlands Vision, and Ezemvelo are world leaders in this community engagement interface" said Dr Venter.
Dr Venter further stated that "the poaching syndicates are unfortunately ruthless and willing to exploit any weakness. They are actively developing local criminal syndicates, corrupting individuals and abusing Ezemvelo's goodwill. As such we're entering a new era of conservation. We need to continue nurturing and supporting community based conservation approaches, whilst demonstrating an intolerance of lawlessness and criminal activity".
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