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Media Release: SA and Vietnam to sign MoU in the field of biodiversity conservation

Date: 4th December 2012

South Africa and Vietnam to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperations in the field of biodiversity conservation and protection, next week.

Ms Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, will next week sign a Memorandum of Understanding with her counterpart, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Dr Cao Duc Phat. The MoU between the two countries is on cooperation in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Protection and will be signed in Hanoi, Vietnam. 

The signing of the MoU signals another significant intervention in the bid to address the scourge of rhino poaching. This intervention on the international front is intended to promote cooperation between the two countries and compliance with CITES. The MoU will be addressing, in particular, the illegal trade in rhino horn that has seen a scourge in rhino poaching.

Government is convinced that for South Africa to effectively deal with the current scourge of poaching, and with illegal hunting largely driven by international demand for the rhino horn, these international engagements and agreements are crucial. The latest rhino poaching statistics indicate that a total of 598 rhinos have been lost to poaching since the beginning of this year, with the total number of arrests at 246. The Kruger National Park has lost 364 rhinos to poaching. KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the North West provinces continue to be the hardest hit by poachers, collectively accounting for the loss of 194 rhinos. 

In September 2011, the governments of Vietnam and South Africa agreed on a process towards the finalisation of the MoU that will see the collaboration of natural resource management, wildlife protection and law enforcement. 

Total number of rhinos killed this year:

KNP (SANParks) 146 252 364
MNP (SANParks) 0 6 3
GP 15 9 1
LIM 52 74 58
MP 17 31 27
NW 57 21 77
EC 4 11 7
FS 3 4 0
KZN 38 34 59
WC 0 6 2
NC 1 0 0
TOTAL 333 448 598

Number of arrests:

KNP (SANParks) 61 82 67
MNP (SANParks) 0 0 0
Gauteng (GP) 26 16 10
Limpopo (LIM) 39 34 36
Mpumalanga (MP) 66 73 16
North West (NW) 32 21 2
Eastern Cape (EC) 0 2 7
Free State (FS) 6 0 0
KZN 15 4 25
Western Cape (WC) 0 0 2
Northern Cape (NC) 1 0 0
TOTAL 246 232 165

Members of the public are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to 0800 205 005 

For media queries, contact:
Albi Modise on 083 490 2871

Issued by:
The Department of Environmental Affairs on 4 December 2012

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