AWARDS

The EWT's rhino project wins Mail and Guardian greening the future award

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The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is proud to announce that its Rhino Project has won the Rhino Rescue Award Category of the Mail and Guardian’s Greening the Future Awards.

Said Kirsty Brebner, Manager of the Rhino Project, “the EWT believes that there is no single solution to addressing illegal wildlife trade - which is an increasing global phenomenon. Wildlife trade often has its roots firmly established in organised and trans-boundary crimes. For this reason the EWT’s Rhino Project is implementing projects and interventions at several stages in the poaching and wildlife trade chain.”

The EWT’s Rhino Project works to address rhino poaching and conserve rhinos in the wild through projects that:

*Reduce smuggling of rhino parts through the deployment of four sniffer dogs at OR Tambo International Airport and one sniffer dog in a private reserve.

*Upskill law enforcement officials in wildlife trade and crime related issues through a five day course (CATHSSETA accredited) that has trained over 200 officials to date;

*Support provincial conservation agencies and selected private reserves with fuel and equipment;

*Rehabilitate orphaned rhino calves and treat injured adult rhino in the field;

*Raise awareness among state prosecutors and magistrates of wildlife crime and penalties through face-to-face meetings;

*Raise awareness in local communities of the impact of rhino poaching on livelihoods and security;

*Support private rhino owners and game reserve managers to improve reserve security and enhance wildlife crime prevention through the development and dissemination of the Rhino Security Booklet;

*Raise awareness in end-user countries of the rhino crisis through a communications campaign;

*Investigate various demand reduction efforts in end-user countries

“While the EWT Rhino Project engages directly with the illegal rhino horn trade, the repercussions of our work have far-reaching effects on biodiversity conservation and management. That’s because the rhino trade acts as a flagship for the ever-increasing illegal wildlife trade as a whole – everything from tortoises and abalone to rhino horn and ivory. So while the horn trade is central to the EWT’s conservation efforts, it has allowed the organisation to raise the status of illegal trade issues for other wildlife including elephants, cycads and marine life,” continued Brebner.

“Furthermore, many of the officials trained in wildlife trade issues by the EWT have become directly involved in the enforcement of legislation pertaining to the conservation of rhinos, as well as the prosecution of rhino-related criminals. These officials are now acutely aware of rhino and other wildlife-related criminal activities, which is critical when it comes to catching and prosecuting people involved in the chain of supply for wildlife products, from the poachers on the ground, through the courier network and on to those involved high up in wildlife crime syndicates,” she concluded.

For further information on the EWT’s Rhino Project contact Kirsty Brebner on kirstyb@ewt.org.za.

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