News / Africa

S. Africa, Vietnam Join Forces to Stop Poaching

Rangers look at an anti-poaching aircraft named Seeker, which is being shown to reporters at the Kruger National Park in South Africa, December 4, 2012.
Rangers look at an anti-poaching aircraft named Seeker, which is being shown to reporters at the Kruger National Park in South Africa, December 4, 2012.
South Africa's anti-poaching efforts got an international boost this week, when Vietnam agreed to work in tandem to decrease the illegal trade. As rhino poaching hits decade highs this year, wildlife advocates say this is a big step in the right direction for conservation.

South Africa is taking its fight against rhino poaching abroad. Officials signed an agreement on December 10 with the Vietnamese government to prevent and discourage poaching.
 
The agreement seeks cooperation between law enforcement in both countries, a mutual compliance with international poaching laws and strong anti-poaching legislation within both countries.
 
Richard Thomas, a spokesman for TRAFFIC, the anti-poaching organization that helped bring the two countries together for the agreement, says this is a big step in the right direction.

"The success or otherwise of the agreement will be highly dependent on the political will to implement it," said Thomas.  "If such will exists - and we've already seen it does on the South Africa side of the equation - but now we have official public recognition by Vietnam that there is a very real issue with illegal rhino horn trade in that country too - it means adequate resources will be devoted to having a real impact on the organized criminal networks who are behind the horn trafficking."

South Africa is home to about 80 percent of the world's rhino population. Vietnam is one of several Asian countries with a high demand for rhino horn, which is mistakenly thought to cure cancer or be an aphrodisiac, among other perceived uses.
 
Thomas says official Vietnamese cooperation is a significant step. 

"I think it's very significant that Vietnam and SA have made this agreement to actually tackle, the actual agreement, the wording of it, doesn't specifically mention rhinos but both the ministers in their speeches made specific references to rhino trafficking so I think that's an important development that you have these two political figures recognizing," Thomas added.
 
As the agreement was being signed on December 10, sobering new numbers were released here in South Africa:  618 rhinos have been killed so far this year, almost double the number killed in 2010.
 
Dr. Jo Shaw, a rhino coordinator with the World Wildlife Fund in South Africa, applauded the agreement, but says urgency is essential in combating rhino poaching.
 
"There really is no room for complacency and we really do need to see commitment from government in combating the problem," said Shaw.

South Africa has upped its anti-poaching measures in the last few years, but is also now determined to bring more international players into the fight, says Albi Modise, the spokesman for South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs.
 
"Rhino poaching is an international problem. It might be occurring in South Africa, but it is driven by the international demand," Modise noted.  "For us effectively to deal with the on-going poaching, we also realize that our approach must be multi-pronged. One of the problems we need to look at is how we engage with foreign countries like most of the Asian countries.  We've just signed an MOU [memorandum of understanding] now with Vietnam, our plan is to sign one with China, with Thailand as well and we are in discussions with Hong Kong authorities as well.

Shaw says the international response to poaching has to target several areas.
 
"I don't think there is any one single solution," Shaw added.  "I think it is going to need to be a range of different roles taking place over different time frames. The MOU is actually around part of regulation and law enforcement. It's great to see politicians taking wildlife crimes seriously."

Thomas reiterated the importance of action after this agreement.  Thomas notes that rhino poaching is showing no signs of slowing down and indeed it has escalated from 13 animals in 2007 to more than 600 this year.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Fred
December 12, 2012 2:59 PM
The statement " We really do need to see support from Government in combating the problem", says it all. However
it does go alot further than this, given the strike by Kruger Park Rangers this year. Personnel are key in this effort a point overlooked. Ideally Special InvestigationTeams to follow up and investigate illegal hunting are a consideration. These Teams should have adequate resources, operate independently in large groups throughout RSA and be able to deploy at short notice. These groups should also have members in the field that can process criminal cases for the Courts, on behalf of the SAPS.

by: newshound from: Germany
December 12, 2012 11:30 AM
sir/madam : displaying, as you do, a strange-looking aircraft as the icon of your story, you forgot to explain how it managed to fly.There
is no means of propulsion evident in the picture. How please?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs