The Vietnamese and South African governments have signed a historic agreement and hailed by conservationists as a ‘turning point in tackling rhino poaching crisis’.
It is hoped that this will be the start of a concerted effort to help address illegal rhino horn trafficking and is top on the WWF agenda.
“South Africa is looking forward to receiving the close co-operation from Vietnamese partners to stop the illegal trade of rhino horns from South Africa to Vietnam,” Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Water and Environmental Affairs Minister, said at the signing ceremony in Hanoi.
Vietnam’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat, said his ministry was submitting a decision on banning the import of rhino parts into the country this year.
Hundreds of rhinos are poached in South Africa every year, with figures rising 21.6 percent in 2011 up from the previous year. Vietnam is believed to be the largest market for illegally sourced rhino horn, which some buyers believe can cure diseases.
On our Africa Leaps volunteers heading to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya will get the opportunity to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. If you are in Kenya then a visit to Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s elephant and rhino orphanage in Nairobi is a spectacular event.