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Founding Statement “Project Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating.

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Presentation on theme: "Founding Statement “Project Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating."— Presentation transcript:

1 Founding Statement “Project Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal. The members of Project Rhino KZN recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from the threat of poaching is symbolic of the broader threat faced by all wildlife, and that all wildlife will benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino KZN. The association is also aware that the poaching of rhino is symptomatic of the overall, bigger conservation & environmental crises facing South Africa and its neighbours.” STOP WILDLIFE CRIME

2 Background Est. 22 September 2011 by the KwaZulu-Natal conservation community. Voluntary association - representative of: 16 Founding Members: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (provincial government conservation agency) 11 leading Conservation NGOs 3 premier Private Game Reserves Anti-poaching security group representing 11 private reserves 2 Associate Members 19 private & community reserves 5 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reserves (Zululand) FOUNDING MEMBERS Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife African Conservation Trust Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (WWF) Game Rangers Association of Africa Magqubu Ntombela Foundation Phinda Private Game Reserve (& Beyond) Space for Elephants Thanda Foundation Thanda Private Game Reserve WESSA Wildlife ACT Fund Wildlands Conservation Trust Wilderness Action Group Wilderness Foundation Zululand Rhino Reserve Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative (ZWSI) ASSOCIATE MEMBERS eThekweni Community Foundation The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation PRIVATE & COMMUNITY RESERVES 1.Eskhoteni 2.Falaza Game Park 3.H&H Ranch 4.Hluhluwe Farms Conservancy 5.Kube Yini 6.KwaZulu Private Game Reserve 7.Mahlalela Game Reserve 8.Mduna Royal Reserve (community-owned) 9.Phinda Private Reserve 10.Pongola Game Reserve - North 11.Pongola Game Reserve - East 12.Somkhanda Community Game Reserve (community-owned) 13.Sungulwana Game Reserve 14.Thanda Private Game Reserve 15.Ubizane 16.Zimanga Game Reserve 17.Zuka 18.Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve 19.Zululand Rhino Reserve Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reserves 1.Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Park 2.Tembe Elephant Park 3.Ndumo Game Reserve 4.Ithala Game Reserve 5.iSimangaliso Wetland Park, incl Mkhuze Game Reserve

3 1.Improve: Intelligence capabilities – information & informant networks Surveillance - both traditional & new technologies (aerial etc) Field ranger competency - equipment & training Advocacy - legal expertise Community awareness & support - education & outreach Coordination & communication - conservation sector, public, media, stakeholders 2.Reduce duplication in: Rhino-focussed projects & anti-poaching activities Resources/equipment for game reserves & anti-poaching teams Fundraising & media appeals for support Public/donor confusion on who to support; prevent ‘fly-by-nights’ from siphoning funds away from genuine NGOs and sanctioned rhino protection / anti-poaching efforts 3.Implement: Region-wide anti-poaching strategies to benefit large populations of rhino across several game reserves Centralised equipment and resource support Collective fundraising and media strategies 4.Create: A common vision for KZN’s rhino conservation sector A united front for KZN against poaching and wildlife crime in general Credibility with donors, public and external stakeholders Centralised platform for fundraising, events and partnerships Centralised communications hub to media, public, government & external stakeholders Space for information sharing, relationship building, sharing of skills & experience Culture of learning and innovation: reporting, benchmarking, new thinking OBJECTIVES AND FOCAL AREAS – ACROSS KZN:

4 NB: each member continues to manage their own specific rhino conservation and counter-poaching efforts as well as give input & support to the wider Project Rhino KZN activities 1. Effective coordination Encouraging cooperation between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, conservation NGOs and private game reserves in the province Improving information-sharing and intelligence gathering efforts Management of group via dedicated Secretariat, monthly meetings & reporting and adherence to financial governance, transparency and accountability ethics. 2. Equipment & Resources for APU teams & game reserves R660,000 Asset Register (to date): from funds donated to Project Rhino KZN Includes: APU camp equipment, mobile solar power sites, water tanks, quad bikes, thermal- imaging cameras, first aid kits, camera traps, cyber-trackers, binoculars, chest webbing, handcuffs, spotlights, rechargeable torches, ground-to-air radios 14 game reserves / APU teams directly equipped 3. Community Relations – reaching hearts & minds Kingsley Holgate Izintaba Zobombo expedition + community education/awareness using Rhino art & soccer competitions 300 schools – 30,000 children reached in South Africa, Mozambique & Swaziland 5,000 Rhino artworks collected to date – rural children’s voices Improved relations with communities bordering game reserves, and also with rhino conservation leaders down the entire South Africa/Mozambique/Swaziland border. COLLECTIVE ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS

5 5. GIS Spatial Intelligence and Analysis (partnership with eThekwini Municipality) Utilizing geo-spatial analysis and intelligence skills to map and interrogate poaching activities through time and space Adding value to existing intelligence and counter-poaching efforts of APUs, reserves and law enforcement agencies. Activities & Projects cont. 4. The Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (partnership btw Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, private reserves, NGOs and donors) 2 x fully owned light aircraft, 2 x helicopters on contract Whole of northern KZN receiving aerial anti- poaching support (24 reserves +200,000ha) Daily aerial patrols plus reaction support in cases of rhino poachings Joint operations with law enforcement agencies (SAPS, Hawks, rhino security groups) Full-time Project Coordinator & chief pilot, 3 reserve pilots + 3 helicopter pilots Fully equipped operational air-base Bateleurs’ support for additional needs Signs of impact seen: arrests, recovery of weapons, reduction in poaching incursions, community awareness.

6 Funding Mechanisms ACT Rhino Fund (main) Business & general public Strategic partnerships Trusts/Foundations Major donors/supporters Media partners Fundraising events/campaigns International donors Members’ efforts Financial governance & accountability provided by African Conservation Trust (nominated Founding Member) – registered NPO with SARS PBO/18A Tax Exemption Status and annual Audited Financial Statements. Activities & Projects cont. 6. Blythe Loutit Legal Advisory Fund (new) Senior attorneys, advocates & forensic experts provide legal expertise & support to Investigation Officers & State Prosecutors to improve Court convictions and sentencing of rhino poachers & their affiliates: Attendance at crime scenes to ensure evidence is properly collected Assist investigators in compiling Dockets ‘Watching Brief’ - assistance to the Prosecution during legal proceedings to reduce Court postponements and ‘delaying tactics’ of defence attorneys Institute civil action against poachers for damages suffered as a result of the loss of rhino Lobbying Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice and other Government Departments to increase penalties for rhino poaching 7.Other Facilitated Informant Fund for private & community reserves Training: Advanced Field Ranger & Crime Scene Management Improving communication between game reserves = better security coordination Direct support in event of a poaching (actual or attempted); sharing of resources & personnel Midlands/Berg, & central KZN reserves coming on board AWARDS 2013: Winner – Rhino Rescue Award 2012: Finalist – Best NGO Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Awards Rhino Conservation Awards AWARDS 2013: Winner – Rhino Rescue Award 2012: Finalist – Best NGO Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Awards Rhino Conservation Awards

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