Cape Town - South Africa and Vietnam will sign a long-awaited agreement on biodiversity issues – including measures to reduce rhino poaching – during an international meeting in Hyderabad, India, next month.
Vietnam has been named the biggest driver of the rhino poaching epidemic and SA government officials have met their Vietnamese counterparts “numerous” times to compile the agreement.
Last August, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the need to co-operate with Vietnam and Mozambique was a priority for countering poaching.
This week, her department announced that a “memorandum of understanding on co-operation in the field of biodiversity conservation and protection”, which included law enforcement issues and compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and other relevant legislation, would be signed at a Convention on Biological Diversity meeting that starts in India on October 8.
The announcement of the signing comes as rhino poaching continues unabated, with the latest statistics showing at least 373 animals have been killed since the beginning of this year; 229 of them in the Kruger National Park.
According to pressure group Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching, there are rumours that more rhinos not included in these figures might also have been poached.
The total number of arrests for rhino poaching this year is 199. - Cape Argus