THE RHINO POACHING CRISIS
More than 5,000 South African rhino have been inhumanely and illegally slaughtered by poachers in the past five years – a devastating loss the country’s tourism and conservation sectors and the country as a whole.
The ‘tipping point’ – in which more rhinos are being poached than are being born – is fast approaching as our reserves are under constant attack from poaching syndicates linked to well-funded international criminal organisations.
Local communities are at the forefront of the poaching battle and winning their hearts and minds is invaluable for intelligence gathering. The sad situation is that many families living close to game reserves have never had the opportunity to see rhinos in the wild, nor do they fully understand the value of conservation and its links to culture, heritage, job creation and rural development.
CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS
For many communities on the outskirts of KZN’s game reserves, poverty, unemployment and food insecurity are daily realities. Hampered by political, and historical neglect, they often lack even the most basic services, such as water and electricity. This places them at much greater risk of wildlife crime involvement – particularly as the payoffs could equate to more than ten years of basic salaried work.
African Conservation Trust and Project Rhino are joining forces to bring sustainable environmental support to these communities. You can help by supporting our food security programme and, in doing so, building a network resilient to the threats of wildlife crime.
Rhino ambassadors help families to grow their own nutritive food, and encourage communities to become active participants in conservation: a win-win situation.
YOU CAN HELP
Your monthly contribution of R150 will feed a family for a month and contribute to more resilient communities.
How it works:
Clusters of homestead gardeners are supported by trained and equipped rhino ambassadors who live in the community, providing guidance and mentorship in all aspects of gardening. Each mentor supports up to 50 homestead gardens, feeding between 200 – 350 people daily.
Each rhino ambassador also serves as a link to conservation agencies and as an environmental educator. Ambassadors help families understand the value of rhino (and all biodiversity), and the need to protect it.