Corruption Undermines Rhino Conservation

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Corruption Undermines Rhino Conservation

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Corruption Undermines Rhino Conservation

  1. 1. A presentation by Dr. Peter Hammond
  2. 2. A presentation by Dr. Peter Hammond
  3. 3. “How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4
  4. 4. During a Mission to Mpumalanga, I spoke with police and game rangers involved in the war against rhino
  5. 5. They were frustrated. With over 1000 rhinos killed in South Africa during 2013 this even surpassed 2012's shocking 668 rhino deaths.
  6. 6. In the year 2000, 7 rhinos were poached. In
  7. 7. In 2008, 83.
  8. 8. In 2009, despite widespread outrage and pledges of decisive action by the government, 122 rhino were poached.
  9. 9. In 2010, the number of rhinos poached shot up to 333.
  10. 10. By 2011 it was 448.
  11. 11. Rhino poachin increased 400% in 10 years.
  12. 12. 2012 was the worst year in living memory for rhino conservation, 668 rhino were poached.
  13. 13. Rhino Poaching Update – 2015
  14. 14. For the game rangers and police on the ground who have been energetically implementing every measure possible for the protection of rhino and tracking down of the poachers responsible for this wholesale targeting of South Africa's rhino population, these
  15. 15. They are convinced that there is corruption at a high level, enabling the poachers to loot our wildlife heritage.
  16. 16. In 1900, there were over 500,000 white rhino in
  17. 17. Today there are less than 20,000 (barely 5%) left. The 18,800 white rhino left in South Africa represent 95% of Africa's total white rhino population.
  18. 18. The white rhino gets its name from a mispronunciation for wide as a description of their lip. White rhino weigh as much as 3 tonnes.
  19. 19. As South Africa is home to most of the world’s rhino population, this war against organised crime is mostly being fought in our game parks. Of the 20,000 white rhino in the world, 19,000 are in South Africa. 12,000 of those are in Kruger National Park.
  20. 20. The situation for the black rhino is even more catastrophic. In 1960, there were 100,000 black rhino in Africa. Today there are barely 4,000, of which 40% are in South Africa.
  21. 21. South Africa is home to 1,600 black rhino. Black rhino weigh up to 1.5 tonnes.
  22. 22. The World Wildlife Fund reports that South Africa's "superlative conservation record of more than a century is under threat."
  23. 23. The 2012 Report by TRAFFIC, described the rhino killings as: "an unprecedented conservation crises for South Africa.“ Rangers report a disturbing escalation in the conflict with the crime syndicates. Unprecedented Conservation Crisis
  24. 24. Asian Market
  25. 25. The drastic surge in rhino poaching is being driven by an insane demand in Asia for rhino horn.
  26. 26. In Vietnam and China, people consider rhino horn a miracle drug and an aphrodisiac.
  27. 27. Although there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this bizarre belief, rhino horn can fetch tens-of-thousands of dollars per kilogram on the black market.
  28. 28. There needs to be a comprehensive campaign to protect rhinos from extinction. One of the key battlefields in this war is Asia.
  29. 29. Rhino poaching is now a R150 billion industry annually.
  30. 30. Rhino poaching is now listed as the third most lucrative criminal trade in the world - behind drugs and human trafficking (slavery). Organised Crime
  31. 31. Previously AK-47 assault rifles and .3O3 rifles were used. Now heavier calibre weapons such as 375s and 458s are increasingly being utilised by the poachers.
  32. 32. The frontline of this battle for the survival of the rhino is being fought in the Kruger National Park, home to half of South Africa rhino population.
  33. 33. Game rangers and police are involved in a deadly battle in that 20,000km² (7,722 mile²) wildlife sanctuary.
  34. 34. There have been an increasing number of shoot-outs between
  35. 35. In almost every one of these encounters, the poachers, although very heavily armed, are killed, wounded, or captured. During one recent incident,
  36. 36. There are now 267 people facing charges related to rhino crimes in South Africa.
  37. 37. In November a Thai citizen, Chumlong Lemtongthai, was sentenced to 40 years in prison,
  38. 38. Near Mtubatuba in KwaZulu/Natal, game rangers engaged in a hot pursuit, high-speed vehicle chase with poachers. One of the poachers managed to escape, but the other was admitted to hospital with a gunshot wound.
  39. 39. Major General Johan Jooste, a military veteran from the Border War, heads up the Kruger National Park combined security forces.
  40. 40. He reports that the worst problem has been that of poachers swarming across the parks 375km (233 mile) border with Mozambique.
  41. 41. Against the advice of many wildlife specialists and conservationists, the Parks Board dismantled most of the border fence in order to amalgamate with the newly proclaimed Trans Limpopo Conservation area, which was meant to give Kruger National Parks wildlife more roaming territory.
  42. 42. However, all it has succeeded in doing was increasing the killing fields of the poachers in Mozambique.
  43. 43. All the 314 rhino located into the Mozambique section of this park have already been killed by poachers.
  44. 44. Now the poachers, funded by international crime syndicates, are mobilizing their poaching operations from Mozambique into Kruger National Park.
  45. 45. They are using the Maputo harbour and airport to smuggle the rhino horn to Vietnam and China. At this time, wildlife
  46. 46. Pressure is mounting on Mozambique to enact legislation to make wildlife offences full-blown felonies.
  47. 47. Conservationists blame Mozambique’s lax laws for enabling the huge concentration of international crime syndicates controlling
  48. 48. General Jooste has reported on the pattern of poachers fleeing across the border to Mozambique, some actually waving mockingly at their pursuers once on Mozambique soil.
  49. 49. The wildlife conservation agencies are urging the South African and Mozambique governments to agree to the principle of "hot pursuit", which will allow National Parks Security personnel to pursue poachers, even once they have crossed the border into Mozambique.
  50. 50. However the World Wildlife Fund points out that "corruption runs deep on both sides." of the border.
  51. 51. TRAFFIC, an international wildlife trade monitoring network incorporating the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, report that "the complicity of South African national and provincial officials undertaking, or enabling, illegal trade has been documented.
  52. 52. In terms of killing rhinos, four government rangers were arrested in Kruger National Park in 2012, and at the Atherstone Nature Reserve in Limpopo the reserve manager committed suicide after allegedly
  53. 53. Provincial administrators have repeatedly turned a blind eye to pseudo hunting, especially in North West and Limpopo Provinces and allowed rhino hunts to transpire that violate TOPS (Threatened Or Protected Species) regulations."
  54. 54. Wildlife specialists maintain: "Corruption among government senior officials, escalating down to rangers, remains a persistent problem."
  55. 55. Conservation scientists are reporting that "Corrupt game industry insiders are now poaching rhino alongside other criminal groups
  56. 56. "How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished." Jeremiah 12:4
  57. 57. Wildlife personnel that I have spoken to have expressed their frustration
  58. 58. with the failure of the criminal justice system to effectively prosecute the violent and ruthless criminals involved in this industry of poaching rhino horn.
  59. 59. On numerous occasions, prosecutors have failed to do their duty, on other occasions, judges have let the
  60. 60. The protection of rhinos is a brutal and ruthless war. The poachers are extremely well armed and the game rangers, police and soldiers on the ground deployed to confront them,
  61. 61. The impression that I have gained, on the ground, is that there is no shortage of dedication and diligence amongst many of the game rangers, conservationist s and police.
  62. 62. However, there are definitely those who are seeking to undermine their effectiveness and the staggering escalation in rhino poaching is a testimony to something seriously wrong.
  63. 63. Several expressed the conviction that the war against rhino poaching is going to be won by private initiatives, not by governments.
  64. 64. "Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will make a stand for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16
  65. 65. Invite conservation speakers to your school, congregation, or college. Visit www.thebibleandanimals.org website.
  66. 66. In the first chapter of the Bible, God made mankind responsible for His animals (Genesis 1:28). All animals are God’s animals (Psalm 50:10). We are answerable to God for our treatment, care and protection of them.
  67. 67. “For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
  68. 68. God created all the animals (Psalm 104).
  69. 69. All animals belong to God (Psalm 50:10}
  70. 70. “All the animals in the forest are Mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are Mine and all living things in the fields.” Psalm 50:10, 11
  71. 71. God cares for the animals. “Jesus said: ‘are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins and not one of them is forgotten before God.’” Luke 12:6.
  72. 72. It is that Scripture which inspired the first act of the Union of South Africa, the minting of the half cent coin and later the one cent coin with two sparrows on it – reminding us that God cares for the very least.
  73. 73. There are those who say that animals do not matter, but the Lord Jesus taught that His people are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 6:28).
  74. 74. If a sparrow is worthless, then of what value are you? A hundred times zero equals zero. A million times zero still equals zero.
  75. 75. For you to be of great value, the birds of the air must be of some value.
  76. 76. Obviously animals matter to God because the presence of animals in Nineveh is recorded as one of the reasons for God’s mercy in not destroying that sinful city (Jonah 4:11).
  77. 77. Noah’s Ark is the premier Biblical picture of Salvation. God provided a way of salvation from the judgment of the Flood, for Noah, his family and for multitudes of animals.
  78. 78. “A good man is kind to his animals, but the wicked are cruel to theirs.” Proverbs 12:10
  79. 79. The prophet Nathan spoke to King David of a poor man in his kingdom who had a little lamb who shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like one of his own children (2 Samuel 12:3).
  80. 80. There was no suggestion that this mans’ affection for his pet was inappropriate. Indeed when King David heard that a man had taken this precious pet and had killed it, we read: “So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man and he said to Nathan: As the Lord lives, the man who has done this Deserves to die!” 2 Samuel 12:5
  81. 81. In the light of the clear teaching of Scripture concerning Creation and mankind’s responsibility for it, we should treat animals with the love and concern of those who must give an account of our conduct to God.
  82. 82. We must recognise that the welfare and protection of animals is an essential part of our Christian responsibility.
  83. 83. We must do all that we can to secure the well-being of all animals
  84. 84. who, with ourselves, inhabit the earth
  85. 85. and so fulfill the creative joy and purposes of Almighty God.
  86. 86. View the Rhinos, Poaching and Conservation PowerPoint, and share this with your friends. Support initiatives caring for God's Creation.
  87. 87. Support the Khumbula film. You Can Make a Difference
  88. 88. "Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will make a stand for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16
  89. 89. Frontline Fellowship PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa E-mail: admin@frontline.org.za Web: www.frontline.org.za
  90. 90. "Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will make a stand for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16

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