The second group of community rhino ambassadors introduced to the public on Friday has vowed to pull out all stops in order to stamp out the unrelenting rhino poaching.
Speaking on behalf of the 300 new recruits who are from all over the province, Lucky Mlele said they would go all out to fight poaching. He said they were grateful and lucky to be called to be part of this great project and they won’t disappoint in their new role.
“Our pledge before you today is that we will fight to end the scourge of rhino poaching that is currently engulfing the nature conversation sector in the country as we believe the rhinos are our assets and they should be protected,” Mlele said during their introduction at Hluhluwe. The community rhino ambassadors project was launched in 2012 as a pilot project in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi game reserve when Ezemvelo asked each chief living adjacent to the park to identify 10 unemployed young community members to be trained as community rhino ambassadors. The identified people were enrolled in a five-week training programme with the South African Wildlife College.
The programme has a number of modules, which include methods to create environmental awareness within the rural and disadvantaged communities.
It also focuses on rhino protection initiatives. The expansion of the project to cover the whole province will see an additional 300 young people employed as community rhino ambassadors.
Following the success of this pilot project, Ezemvelo has decided to extend the project to the Ndumo game reserve, the Tembe elephant park and Weenen game reserves.
Siphamandla Mthembu, another ambassador from Manguzi shared similar sentiments with Mlele. He said his first task when he assumes his duties was to instil the sense of nature conversation among his people in Manguzi. More....