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Minister Edna Molewa gazettes the Biodiversity Management Plan for White Rhino

03 December 2015

 

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, on Wednesday, 02 December 2015, published the Biodiversity Management Plan for white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum in Government Gazette No. 39469 in terms of section43(1) (b)(i) read with section 43(3) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).

The main purpose of BMP-S in terms of NEMBA is to ensure the long-term survival in the wild of the species and provide for monitoring and reporting on the progress with implementation of the plan. The BMP for white rhino will build upon an initial “Strategy for conservation and sustainable use of wild populations of southern white rhino Ceratotherium simum in South Africa.

The plan enables the evaluation of conservation progress and management and sets out key actions and strategies needed to ensure that monitoring, protection, conservation and sustainable management of the species will contribute to meeting conservation goals and contribute towards meeting the long-term vision for conservation of white rhino.

The Biodiversity Management Plans for Species allows for the monitoring and review of actions taken to conserve species in the wild amidst a changing environment.  It also requires that, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, all management plans compiled by conservation authorities are approved by the Minister for public participation and implementation respectively.

Additionally, the development of this Biodiversity Management Plan is in response to an instruction from the Environmental Parliamentary Portfolio Committee as a result of the current upsurge in rhino horn poaching. It also reflects on the commitment of the key partners involved to work together in order to effectively achieve priorities highlighted in the Minister’s rhino summit as well as try to curb the illegal poaching and trade in rhinos.

The plan enables the evaluation of conservation progress and management and sets out key actions and strategies needed to ensure that monitoring, protection, conservation and sustainable management of the species will contribute to meeting conservation goals and contribute towards meeting the long-term vision for conservation of white rhino.

To access the gazette, follow the link below:

>> National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No.10 of 2004) The Biodiversity Management Plan for White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) (G39469 - N1191)

 

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Note:

The Southern white rhino Ceratotherium simum was historically found in southern Africa. Hunting and poaching reduced the population to between 20 - 50 animals in the iMfolozi area (now Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal) by the end of the 19th century. By the beginning of 2012 the South African population had increased in size to represent over 93% of Africa’s wild white rhino.

The saving of this species is hailed as one of Africa’s greatest conservation success stories. Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park accounted for an estimated 53% and 13% of South Africa’s white rhinos in 2012, respectively.

The private sector has also played a major role in rhino conservation by conserving about 24% (4,520) of the national population by 2012. The communal sector is beginning to play an increasing role in the conservation of the species. Although South Africa’s white rhino have increased at an average of 6.6 % per annum from 1991 - 2012, this growth is under pressure from resurgent and escalating poaching of rhinos for their horns.

This upsurge in poaching has coincided with soaring costs for protecting rhino, increased risks to owners and conservation staff and the rhinos themselves. Worryingly, incentives (e.g. live sale prices) for rhino conservation have been generally declining. If these trends continue this will threaten continued increases in numbers of rhino and extent of suitable habitat under rhino management as well as reducing funds available for field conservation action, especially by the important source populations.