Rhinos march

SHARE   |   Monday, 09 October 2017   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang

The need to involve indigenous people in the conservation and preservation efforts of wild animals especially those (wild animals) under great danger from poaching and wildlife trade has been emphasized. Speaking on Thursday at a press briefing on Global march for elephants, rhinos, lions and pangolins (GMFERLP 2017), the Global march ambassador in Botswana Thea Khama said they decided to involve indigenous communities, especially those from areas of close proximity to wildlife inhabited areas as a way of raising awareness among them. The global march takes place in more than 130 cities on October 7 around the world, with the aim of raising one voice to demand an end to the trade in ivory, rhino horn and lion bone. Three cities in Botswana –  Gaborone, Kasane and Maun – are participating in the march. The fundraising initiatives proceeds from the march will benefit Tlhokomela Botswana Endangered Wildlife Trust – a facilitating body for conservation activities taking place in Botswana, with a special focus on fund raising initiatives which are national, sustainable and ensure the longevity of revenue flow to support the protection and growth of Botswana’s endangered species.

Others are Children in the Wilderness; an initiative whose  overall goal is to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development of rural children in Africa and Khama Rhino Sanctuary; a community based wildlife project established in 1992 to assist in saving the vanishing rhinoceros, restore an area formerly teeming with wildlife to its previous natural state and provide economic benefits to the local Botswana community through tourism and the sustainable use of natural resources. GMFERLP 2017 has partnered with among others Botswana Tourism Organisation to ensure that the march takes place. “The real reason and success of this march will be measured by the level of awareness raised towards the protection of endangered species,” said BTO’s Jillian Blackbeard. 

The global march calls for among others global awareness that governments around the world need to apply political will and leadership to put an end to wildlife trafficking, all countries to implement a complete ban on commercial international and domestic trade of all endangered wildlife body parts, including ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bone, listing all species of elephant and rhinos on CITES Appendix 1,all countries to shut down retail outlets for ivory and horn and to shut down industries associated with processing these (such as  ivory-carving factories), governments to tackle corruption and money-laundering linked to illegal wildlife trafficking by adopting or amending legislation to criminalize corruption and bribery that facilitate poaching and wildlife trafficking, governments to adopt more punitive legislation in sentencing wildlife traffickers, governments to strengthen enforcement of laws associated with wildlife crime, the United Nations, including the Security Council and General Assembly, to adopt sanctions against those countries in violation of intergovernmental agreements as adopted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES).