At a meeting of the five Asian Rhino range states - Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal - a common action plan was agreed today with the aim of increasing the populations of Asian Rhino species by at least 3% annually by 2020.
This agreement, called the Bandar Lampung Declaration, was reached after two days of negotiations at the Asian Rhino Range States Meeting held in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, hosted by the government of Indonesia and facilitated by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).
“Our decision to host this meeting reflects Indonesia’s determination to do everything we can to save our species of rhino,” says Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Forestry, Indonesia. “We have found that when a species becomes extremely rare, occurring at a very low density, such as the Sumatran Rhino, we need to take special measures to ensure that the animals can find each other and breed.”
The commitment outlines specific conservation actions that are necessary to secure a steady growth rate of all three Asian Rhino species – Sumatran, Javan and Greater One-horned. These include improving the biological management and monitoring of the species, strengthening the protection of their habitats, performing strict anti-poaching operations, introducing tougher penalties for those that illegally kill Asian Rhinos, and maintaining the ban in the international trade of all rhino products.
“The number of surviving Asian Rhinos, especially of Javan and Sumatran Rhinos, is currently so low that maintaining their populations is not enough to secure their survival,” says Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCN SSC. More....