The fight against rhino poaching was given a further shot in the arm this week with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between South Africa and the People's Republic of China on cooperation in the fields of Wetland and Desert Ecosystems and Wildlife Conservation.
The MoU was signed by South Africa's Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Minister Edna Molewa and Chinese Minister, Mr Wang Yi yesterday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
The signing of the MoU between the two countries comes only three months since the signing of a similar agreement with Vietnam in December aimed at promoting cooperation in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Protection.
While both agreements are designed to promote cooperation between South Africa, China and Vietnam on broader issues of conservation, they are particularly aimed at curbing the current scourge of rhino poaching through cooperation in law enforcement, compliance with international conventions and other relevant legislation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
As international efforts to combat the scourge of rhino poaching increase, the number of rhino poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year has increased to 188.
In the Kruger National Park 135 rhino have been poached, while 17 rhino have been killed in North West, 16 have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal, 10 in Limpopo and another 10 in Mpumalanga provinces. A total of 63 people have been arrested since the beginning of this year for rhino poaching and or related activities.
The objective of the MoU between South Africa and China is to extend areas of co-operation between the Parties in the fields of Wetland and Desert Ecosystems and Wildlife Conservation, and to establish a long-term cooperative relationship on the basis of equity and mutual benefit. More....