On Selling Rhino Horn

Rhinocerous

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the self-professed world’s largest professional global conservation network and a forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to meet the challenges facing conservation.

In September 2012, IUCN members adopted many Resolutions and  Recommendations, one of which “recognize(d) that the successful conservation of rhinos across the entire range will be best achieved via a diversity of management and economic mechanisms” and furthermore called on African countries with rhinos to “maintain enabling land-use and investment policies together with support for appropriate and well-managed, sustainable, income-generating options that encourage investment in rhinos, sustainable populations and which help fund effective conservation by the private wildlife industry and communities”.

Confusing for the non-scientist? Need translation into English? To successfully bring the current rhino poaching epidemic – which is a serious crisis – under control we shouldn’t just be thinking about wildlife law enforcement, demand reduction in ‘consumer’ countries, etc. but also the legalisation and sale of rhino horn, likely to the same markets driving the poaching in the first place. The fact that this has already been tried in the case of elephant ivory and not only failed miserably to bring elephant poaching under control  but also further stimulated demand, seems to be lost on these ‘experts’. What parallel universe are they living in?

Unfortunately, this Recommendation was used by pro-trade advocates and some members of the IUCN Rhino Specialist Group at their side event at the current CITES meeting in Bangkok yesterday, seeking to promote the idea of a proposal to sell rhino horn. Rhinos are coming up for discussion this Friday and two more side events are also planned, one of which, entitled ‘Rhino Economics’ to be attended by the relevant South African Minister, leaves nothing to the imagination for what agenda it might be promoting.

I dare say it’s a good thing Born Free is here to bring some reason and common sense to the otherwise confused conservation priorities and plans of a self-serving few…

Blogging off

Will

5 Responses to “On Selling Rhino Horn”

  1. Chada Says:

    Please don’t forget about the elephants. They have got to ban the ivory trade! Right now! Thank you.

  2. Tony Mustoe Says:

    I know you have said CITES is better than nothing, but I am beginning to wonder………….The Trade element seems to be well outperforming the Conservation element.

  3. Lisa Wallace Says:

    CITES is nothing but a puppet organization for the corrupt.

  4. Allison Thomson Says:

    Thank goodness you are there Will – there is no telling what damage that SA delegation are doing – keep up the good fight :) 100% behind you and against trade!

  5. gloria sapp Says:

    NO TRADE,CITIES IS CORRUPTION IN SA.NO TO ANYTHING CITIES SAYS OR DOES,THEY R CORRUPT GOVERNMENT WHO REAPS THE MONEY PAID FOR DEAD RHINOS,ELLIES,ALL AFRICAN WILDLIFE,CONSERVATION IS A JOKE AS ITS A BREEDING GROUND FOR SELLING TO THE HIGEST BIDDER,NO MATTER WHERE IN THE WORLD IT IS,THE CHINESE RULES AFRICA. NO TRADE THE SYNDICATE NEEDS TO BE STOPPED AS ITS TOO LATE FOR THE WILDLIFE