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Department of Environmental Affairs and Isimangaliso Wetland Park to host World Rhino Day events at St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal 2015

 

18 September 2015

 

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, will lead events to mark World Rhino Day at St. Lucia in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and World Heritage Site on 22 September 2015.

World Rhino Day is observed annually on 22 September.

South Africa has a proud conservation record, having brought the rhino back from near extinction in the 1960s to a healthy estimated 20 000 black and white rhino by the end of 2013.  Our country has been described as the only remaining hope for the world in terms of rhino conservation.  It is a reputation that the country, and Government, wishes to maintain.

Communities living adjacent to national parks, state and privately-owned conservation areas, as well as   private rhino owners, rely on the rhino, as a key member of the Big Five, as a source of income and job creation.  The rhino is an important part of South Africa’s cultural, economic and natural heritage. Cabinet approved the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros in South Africa in August 2014.  The key aspects of this program are managing rhino populations, compulsory interventions (including proactive anti-poaching measures), international and national collaboration and cooperation, as well as long-term sustainability measures. Significant progress has been made with regards to the implementation of the interventions. 

The Department of Environmental Affairs in partnership with the iSimangaliso Park Authority, ZAP-Wing, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation, African Conservation Trust, Wildlands, Project Rhino KZN, Wildlife ACT, Peace Parks Foundation and Vega Archipelago Verdensarv   (Norwegian World Heritage Site) will celebrate World Rhino Day 2015 at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on 22 September 2015.  The event this year will, as is our custom, feature a walk by children from more than 70 schools, community members and leaders again rhino poaching, after which banners showing their commitment to combating the crime will be handed to the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Barbara Thomson.

The theme for the 2015 WRD is “Not on our watch.” and the slogan for this year’s event is “My Rhino, Our Future!

Transport is being offered to media from Durban and surrounds to the event.

Media are invited to attend. Transport is being provided for media from Durban.

Details of the event are as follows:

Date:           22 September 2015

Venue:         Sugar Loaf Campsite, St Lucia

Time :          09:30 – 15:00

Please RSVP by Monday, 21 September 2015 10am

To RSVP Contact:

Marisa Burger 
Tel: 012 399 9987 /
Cell: 079 891 5700
Email: mburger@environment.gov.za

Eleanor Momberg
Tel: 012 399 9948 / 083 400 5741
Email: emomberg@environment.gov.za

Siyabonga Mhlongo
Cell: 035 590 1633 / 084 382 0884 
Email:  siyabonga@isimangaliso.com

For media inquiries contact:

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871