THE MOST FROM THE COAST !

..


 Coastweek website


XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Rhino seen at the Kruger National Park, in northeastern South Africa | Coastweek

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK South Africa (Xinhua) -- Rhino seen at the Kruger National Park, in northeastern South Africa. Home to about 90 per cent of the world’s rhino population, South Africa bears the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 1,028 rhinos to poaching last year. The government has warned that the country’s rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026 if no effective measures are taken to curb rhino poaching. XINHUA PHOTO - GAO YUAN

South African police successfully arrest syndicate
in massive trafficking of poached rhino horns

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Six key syndicate members implicated in a massive trafficking of poached rhino horns have been arrested, police said on Wednesday.

The arrests were made on Tuesday in Mpumalanga Province by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The suspects, aged between 30 and 56, include two alleged syndicate leaders, two police officers and a former cop, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

They appeared at the White River Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga on Wednesday afternoon, facing charges of theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, illegal buying and selling of rhino horns, corruption and money laundering, said Mulaudzi.

The syndicate members allegedly ran poaching groups with the support of corrupt police officials as well as authorities from the private game farms, Mulaudzi said.

The expeditious internal disciplinary processes are already underway for the arrested police officers, he said.

The logistical, transport and communication support of the criminal group was well managed and controlled and allegedly succeeded in moving rhino horns from the protected areas to places where the transactions would take place, Mulaudzi disclosed.

The illegal transactions were also protected by alleged corrupt officials to ensure no detection from law enforcement, he said.

The significant breakthrough followed Project Broadbill, an investigative operation launched by the Hawks in January last year, Mulaudzi said.

The operation focused on the criminal supply chain of poached rhinos within the Kruger National Park and other state-owned or private reserves in Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng provinces.

Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, the National Head of the Hawks, lauded the collaborative action as a huge success in the fight against rhino poaching in the country.

"We have often been seized with picking up the remains of endangered species and not finding and arresting the poachers and traffickers behind the crime.

"The operation spells hope for rhinos and other endangered species and we are fully committed to eradicating poaching and trafficking," he said.

Lebeya vowed to continue teaming up with key enforcement partners and government departments in carrying out crucial investigations and arresting those behind the slaughter of the wildlife.

The operation is still proceeding, and more seizures and possible arrests are expected, he said.

South Africa, home to about 90 percent of the world’s rhino population, bears the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 1,028 rhinos to poaching last year.

The government has warned that the country’s rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026 if no effective measures are taken to curb rhino poaching.
.

UPDATES:

South Africa exports live rhinos as last resort to save the endangered species

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa, home to about 90 percent of the world’s rhinoceros population, has to export some of the endangered animals so as to salvage them from extinction, authorities said on Friday.

Since 2014, South Africa has exported 361 live rhinos to former and existing rhino range states, including Botswana, Chad, Namibia, Rwanda and Zambia, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said.

One such translocation was of six black rhinos that were translocated to the Zakhouma National Park in Chad in May 2018.

It is the first time in 46 years that there are rhinos in Chad.

In line with requirements in the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the DEA in 2014 recommended the export of a total of 538 live rhinos from South Africa.

The country will have to export the remaining 177 rhinos to non-range states in North America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, DEA spokesperson Albi Modise said.

Live rhinos from South Africa can only be exported to zoo facilities that are either members of the World Associations of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA), institutional members of an affiliated member of WAZA, or an accredited member of a regional zoo association, according to the DEA.

These institutions must be recognized by the CITES Management Authority of the state of import as a reputable association, the DEA said.

South Africa bears the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 1,028 rhinos in 2017 alone.

From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 this year, 508 rhino were poached nationwide, according to the latest statistics released by the DEA.

The government has warned that the country’s rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026 if no effective measures are taken to curb rhino poaching.

"Rhino poaching is a national priority crime, and as such, all the relevant government departments will continue their close collaboration to ensure that this iconic species is conserved for generations to come," the DEA said.
.

South Africa reports decrease in rhino poaching

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa has seen a decrease in the number of rhinos poached since the beginning of this year, thanks to enhanced anti-poaching efforts, authorities said on Friday.

From January 1 to August 31 this year, 508 rhinos were poached nationwide, compared to 691 for the same period in 2017, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said in its latest update on the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros.

As nearly all provinces experienced dramatic declines, the Kruger National Park (KNP), which bears the brunt of rhino poaching, also reported a decline in rhino poaching, the DEA said.

In the period under review, the park lost 292 rhinos to poaching, compared to 332 in the same period last year.

This decline comes despite a dramatic escalation in poacher activity inside the park where a total of 1,873 incidents were recorded in the period under review.

This is compared to 1,702 incidents in 2017.

It is also particularly pleasing to note the decline in the numbers of rhino poached in KwaZulu-Natal Province during the period when 508 rhinos were poached, compared to 691 for the same period in 2017, said the DEA.

The department attributed the success to enhanced anti-rhino efforts.

Since January this year, approximately 400 suspects have been arrested on a range of charges including rhino poaching, said the DEA.

For the KNP alone, the number of alleged poacher arrests stands at 162, while a total of 145 weapons have been seized in rhino-related incidents both inside and outside the park; and a total of 83 rhino horns confiscated.

Those arrested include four officials from the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), according to the department.

South Africa is home to about 90 percent of the world’s rhino population. In 2017, the country lost 1,028 rhinos to poaching.

The government has warned that the country’s rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026 if no effective measures are taken to curb rhino poaching.
.

EARLIER REPORTS:

 JULY 2018  

South Africa joins international operation against poaching

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African law enforcement agencies have arrested 13 people on illegal wildlife trade charges as part of the country’s contribution to a global operation against poaching, authorities said on Wednesday.

Operation Thunderstorm was launched by Interpol in May 2018, bringing numerous countries in a joint effort to curb wildlife poaching, according to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

For South Africa, attention was paid to transnational trafficking routes originating at airports and other ports of entry and exit between South Africa and Europe, Botswana and Zimbabwe, as well as to international mail centers and the value chain of rhino horn trafficking syndicates, DEA spokesperson Albi Modise said.

Among the successes recorded was the confiscation of four endangered Spotted Ragged Tooth Sharks, also known as the Sand Tiger Shark or Dusky Shark, at Cape Town International Airport, during an inspection of a container holding the illegal consignment, said Modise.

The seizure of the live sharks, which were being exported to the Netherlands, is an indication that the problem of live shark smuggling is bigger than initially believed as demand for live sharks from aquariums worldwide has increased, Modise said.

In the operation, law enforcement agents also seized live pangolins, abalone, ivory and rhino horns, according to the DEA.

Worldwide, 1,974 seizures were recorded and 1,400 people arrested during investigations and searches in 92 countries during Operation Thunderstorm, the DEA said.

In addition, officials had seized 48 live primates, 14 big cats including tiger, lion, leopard and jaguar, and several tonnes of wood and timber.

The operation also saw eight tonnes of pangolin scales seized worldwide, including almost four tonnes by Vietnamese maritime authorities on board a ship arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the DEA.
.

 MAY 2018 

South Africa translocates endangered black rhinos to Chad

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa on Thursday began the translocation of black rhinos to Chad amid intensified efforts to salvage the endangered animal.

South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa witnessed the loading and departure of black rhinos from the Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape Province.

This was part of an initiative to reintroduce rhinos to the African country under an agreement signed between South Africa and Chad in 2017.

The agreement on the re-introduction of black rhinos to Chad seeks to re-establish a rhino population in Chad as part of the broader biodiversity initiatives between South Africa and Chad, Molewa said.

"By establishing a viable and secure rhino population of rhino in Chad, we are contributing to the expansion of the rhino population in Africa, and the survival of a species that has faced high levels of poaching for the past decade," said Molewa.

The translocation of black rhinos is being achieved through a collaboration between the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the government of Chad, South African National Parks and the African Parks Foundation.

The rhinos are being translocated to the Zakouma National Park in Chad which has experienced a dramatic decrease due to poaching since 2010. The last black rhino in Chad was seen in Zakouma in the 1970s.

Chad was historically home to at least two rhinoceros species - the northern white rhinos and the western black rhinos.

Translocation is but one of the interventions being implemented by South Africa a part of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros Approach, said Molewa.

"Our approach includes compulsory interventions, interventions to increase rhino numbers, long-term sustainability interventions and game-changing interventions," she said.

South Africa has also translocated black and white rhinos to a number of other African countries, including Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya and Swaziland.

South Africa, home of more than 80 percent of rhino population in the world, bears the brunt of rhino poaching, lossing 1,028 rhinos to poaching last year.
.

 APRIL 2018 

South Africa hosts regional anti-poaching meeting

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa on Wednesday hosted an anti-poaching meeting of defense and security chiefs from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Taking place on the outskirts of the Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, the 4th Multilateral Forum of the Defence and Security Chiefs on Anti-Poaching kicked off with a pledge to stem the scourge of poaching.

The two-day meeting focused not only on legal issues pertaining to anti-poaching efforts, but also ways to ensure that the punishment meted out to those convicted of poaching in the region is standardized.

During previous anti-poaching multilateral meetings, it was noted that punishment for convicted poachers differed from country to country in the SADC region.

After much deliberation, the SADC countries have adopted a strategy that will boost efforts to combat poaching and trafficking in wildlife by introducing a common approach to combat the illicit transnational trade in wildlife, said South African Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said in her opening address.

Africa is home to most of the world’s surviving species of wild animals and plants and the SADC region in particular is unique and rich with an abundance of wildlife.

"This makes us prone to daily threats of poaching. But while we are faced with similar challenges, we also have similar opportunities to tackle this threat," Molewa said.

The biodiversity and ecosystems play an important role in meeting the developmental objectives of the region, she said.

"The illegal killing and trafficking of our wildlife undermines our investments in the protection and conservation of our natural heritage," the minister warned.

In recent years, the SADC region has experienced increased illegal trade and poaching of wildlife, especially elephants and rhino species.

This year’s meeting is attended by defense and service chiefs from defense forces of Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as senior officials from the departments of police, justice, environmental affairs and intelligence.

The first meeting of this kind was held in Botswana in 2014. Subsequent meetings were held in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
.

 MARCH 2018  

South African private rhino owners launch new
initiative to facilitate legal trade of rhino horns

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA) on Monday launched a initiative that will facilitate the legal trade of rhino horns.

The newly established online trade desk, known as the Rhino Horn Trade Africa (RHTA), aims to provide a managed, efficient platform from which genuine buyers and sellers can trade in "clean", humanely acquired rhino horns, the South Africa-based PROA said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

The initiative will assist both buyers and sellers of legal horns when it comes to matters of compliance, including Finance Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) requirements and the verification of permits, according to the association.

Last year, PROA members voted unanimously to create a trade desk to facilitate sales and bring much-needed conservation revenue to mitigate rhino management and security costs.

The South African government introduced the moratorium on rhino horn trade in 2009 to curb rhino poaching. But private ranchers say the moratorium has failed to stop the scourge, and therefore should be lifted.

Private rhino owners in South Africa currently own in excess of 7,000 black and white rhinos, more than the rest of Africa combined (about 37 percent of the national herd).

The RHTA is working closely with the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) and University of Pretoria at Onderstepoort to ensure that all rhino horns sold through the RHTA are first recorded on the Rhino DNA Index System, or RhODIS® database, Jones said.

This means that every rhino horn offered for sale through RHTA must possess a DNA certificate. Genetic profiling is the key control in establishing the provenance of every rhino horn on offer. By this mechanism no "blood" horn is able to enter the market.

Jones said the revenue generated from sales will be viewed as conservation revenue that will assist rhino owners to continue protecting and caring for their animals, which they currently do at great personal expense, with no incentives or outside funding.

Although last year’s Constitutional Court order set aside the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horns, the domestic trade in rhino horns is subject to the issuing of the relevant permits in terms of the relevant laws, regulations and applicable provincial legislation in order to be able to trade nationally, the government says.

Global trade of rhino horns remains prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

South Africa, home to about 90 percent of the world’s rhino population, bears the brunt of rhino poaching, loosing 1,028 rhinos to poaching in 2017.
.

 JANUARY 2018  

Over 1,000 rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa in 2017

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa lost a total of 1,028 rhinos to poaching last year, indicating that rhino poaching remains a serious concern in the country, according to statistics released on Thursday.

There has been a minor decrease in the number of rhinos poached nationally in 2017, compared with the previous year when 1,054 rhinos were slaughtered, Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said in her rhino poaching report.

The Kruger National Park (KNP), one of Africa’s largest game reserves in northeastern South Africa, continued to bear the brunt of rhino poaching, losing 504 rhinos last year, Molewa said.

This was 24 percent less than the 662 rhinos poached in 2016, she said.

"As a result of our anti-poaching strategy in the KNP, we are now seeing a decrease in the number of poacher activities in the park with a total of 2,662 recorded in 2017 compared with 2,883 in 2016," said the minister.

Whilst there has been a decrease in the number of rhinos killed in the park, the number of rhinos poached unfortunately increased in KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and North West provinces, according to Molewa.

The minister also reported some progress in curbing rhino poaching.

This included arrests, investigations and successful convictions of rhino poachers and smugglers, as well as the stepping up of technological and other interventions, Molewa said.

In the reporting period, a total of 502 alleged rhino poachers and 16 alleged traffickers were arrested nationally, bringing the total figure to 518, she said.

This represents a decrease from 2016 when a total of 680 poachers and traffickers were arrested.

"It would be important for us to mention that there has been arrests made for poaching-related offences from amongst our own personnel," said Molewa.

Regrettably, 21 officials were arrested in this regard during 2017, she said.

South Africa, home to about 90 percent of the world’s rhino population, brought the rhino back from the brink of extinction in the 1960s and today has an estimated 20,000 black and white rhinos.

But persistent poaching is again threatening to wipe out the rhinos.

Molewa has warned earlier that South Africa’s rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026 if no effective measures are taken to curb rhino poaching.

           

Remember: you read it first at coastweek.com !


Safi Ethanol Cooker

 

TO ADVERTISE ON THIS WEB SITE:  www.coastweek.com
Please contact

MOMBASA - GULSHAN JIVRAJ, Mobile: 0722 775164 Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130 /
Wireless: 020 3549187 e-mail: info@coastweek.com

NAIROBI - ANJUM H. ASODIA, Mobile: 0733 775446 Tel: (+254) (020) 3744459
e-mail: anjum@asodia.co.ke

 
    © Coastweek Newspapers Limited               Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130  |  Wireless: 020 3549187  |  E-mail: info@coastweek.com