Rhino Conservation Project

 

Demand reduction

This is a critical albeit complicated part of the poaching chain. As we do not have a presence in Vietnam or China, we rather support the work of our partners there (such as the Vietnamese NGO ENV). However, we did run a competition for participants to design a posters in Vietnamese which would have appropriate messages to stop the demand for rhino horn. The entries were judged by our partners in Vietnam and the overall winner was Duong Minh Loc with Ho Tu Anh the runner up. Unfortunately, Duong Minh Loc was not available to collect the certificate but Ho Tu Anh received his at the launch of Operation Game Change at the US Embassy in Hanoi, in partnership with, amongst others, ENV and the Freeland Foundation.

Further demand reduction efforts are now taking place in China Town, Cyrildene Johannesburg. Cyrildene is the hub of the South African Chinese community, and virtually all Chinese in South Africa have some sort of link there. As is evident from several recent arrests, Chinese nationals seem to be increasingly involved in smuggling of rhino horn and ivory. We have partnered with the Community Policing Forum in Cyrildene to provide regular information on species illegally possessed, traded or consumed. The information is sent out to all Chinese people living in SA as a WeChat message, and the take up can be monitored. So far we have sent out information on rhinos, elephants and pangolins. After the first message was sent, there were several tips from the community on illegal ivory traders, so we hope that we can expand on this in the future.