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Founding Statement “Project Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Founding StatementProject Rhino KZN is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal. The members of Project Rhino KZN recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from the threat of poaching is symbolic of the broader threat faced by all wildlife, and that all wildlife will benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino KZN. The association is also aware that the poaching of rhino is symptomatic of the overall, bigger conservation & environmental crises facing South Africa and its neighbours.

STOP WILDLIFE CRIME

BackgroundEst. 22 September 2011 by the KwaZulu-Natal conservation community.

Voluntary association -representative of:16 Founding Members:Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (provincial government conservation agency)11 leading Conservation NGOs 3 premier Private Game ReservesAnti-poaching security group representing 11 private reserves

2 Associate Members

19 private & community reserves

5 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reserves (Zululand)FOUNDING MEMBERSEzemvelo KZN Wildlife African Conservation TrustBlack Rhino Range Expansion Project (WWF)Game Rangers Association of AfricaMagqubu Ntombela FoundationPhinda Private Game Reserve (& Beyond)Space for ElephantsThanda FoundationThanda Private Game ReserveWESSAWildlife ACT FundWildlands Conservation TrustWilderness Action GroupWilderness FoundationZululand Rhino Reserve Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative (ZWSI)

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSeThekweni Community FoundationThe Lawrence Anthony Earth OrganisationPRIVATE & COMMUNITY RESERVESEskhoteniFalaza Game ParkH&H RanchHluhluwe Farms ConservancyKube YiniKwaZulu Private Game ReserveMahlalela Game ReserveMduna Royal Reserve (community-owned)Phinda Private ReservePongola Game Reserve - North Pongola Game Reserve - EastSomkhanda Community Game Reserve (community-owned)Sungulwana Game Reserve Thanda Private Game ReserveUbizaneZimanga Game Reserve ZukaZulu Nyala Private Game ReserveZululand Rhino ReserveEzemvelo KZN Wildlife ReservesHluhluwe-Mfolozi ParkTembe Elephant ParkNdumo Game ReserveIthala Game ReserveiSimangaliso Wetland Park, incl Mkhuze Game Reserve2Improve:Intelligence capabilities information & informant networksSurveillance - both traditional & new technologies (aerial etc)Field ranger competency - equipment & trainingAdvocacy - legal expertise Community awareness & support - education & outreachCoordination & communication - conservation sector, public, media, stakeholders

Reduce duplication in:Rhino-focussed projects & anti-poaching activitiesResources/equipment for game reserves & anti-poaching teamsFundraising & media appeals for supportPublic/donor confusion on who to support; prevent fly-by-nights from siphoning funds away from genuine NGOs and sanctioned rhino protection / anti-poaching efforts

Implement: Region-wide anti-poaching strategies to benefit large populations of rhino across several game reservesCentralised equipment and resource supportCollective fundraising and media strategies

Create:A common vision for KZNs rhino conservation sectorA united front for KZN against poaching and wildlife crime in generalCredibility with donors, public and external stakeholdersCentralised platform for fundraising, events and partnershipsCentralised communications hub to media, public, government & external stakeholdersSpace for information sharing, relationship building, sharing of skills & experienceCulture of learning and innovation: reporting, benchmarking, new thinking

OBJECTIVES AND FOCAL AREAS ACROSS KZN:NB: each member continues to manage their own specific rhino conservation and counter-poaching efforts as well as give input & support to the wider Project Rhino KZN activities1. Effective coordinationEncouraging cooperation between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, conservation NGOs and private game reserves in the province Improving information-sharing and intelligence gathering effortsManagement of group via dedicated Secretariat, monthly meetings & reporting and adherence to financial governance, transparency and accountability ethics.

2. Equipment & Resources for APU teams & game reservesR660,000 Asset Register (to date): from funds donated to Project Rhino KZN Includes: APU camp equipment, mobile solar power sites, water tanks, quad bikes, thermal-imaging cameras, first aid kits, camera traps, cyber-trackers, binoculars, chest webbing, handcuffs, spotlights, rechargeable torches, ground-to-air radios14 game reserves / APU teams directly equipped

3. Community Relations reaching hearts & mindsKingsley Holgate Izintaba Zobombo expedition + community education/awareness using Rhino art & soccer competitions 300 schools 30,000 children reached in South Africa, Mozambique & Swaziland 5,000 Rhino artworks collected to date rural childrens voicesImproved relations with communities bordering game reserves, and also with rhino conservation leaders down the entire South Africa/Mozambique/Swaziland border.

COLLECTIVE ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS

5. GIS Spatial Intelligence and Analysis (partnership with eThekwini Municipality)Utilizing geo-spatial analysis and intelligence skills to map and interrogate poaching activities through time and space Adding value to existing intelligence and counter-poaching efforts of APUs, reserves and law enforcement agencies.

Activities & Projects cont.

4. The Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (partnership btw Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, private reserves, NGOs and donors)2 x fully owned light aircraft, 2 x helicopters on contractWhole of northern KZN receiving aerial anti-poaching support (24 reserves +200,000ha)Daily aerial patrols plus reaction support in cases of rhino poachingsJoint operations with law enforcement agencies (SAPS, Hawks, rhino security groups)Full-time Project Coordinator & chief pilot, 3 reserve pilots + 3 helicopter pilots Fully equipped operational air-baseBateleurs support for additional needsSigns of impact seen: arrests, recovery of weapons, reduction in poaching incursions, community awareness.Funding MechanismsACT Rhino Fund (main)Business & general publicStrategic partnershipsTrusts/FoundationsMajor donors/supportersMedia partnersFundraising events/campaignsInternational donorsMembers efforts

Financial governance & accountability provided by African Conservation Trust (nominated Founding Member) registered NPO with SARS PBO/18A Tax Exemption Status and annual Audited Financial Statements .

Activities & Projects cont.

6. Blythe Loutit Legal Advisory Fund (new)Senior attorneys, advocates & forensic experts provide legal expertise & support to Investigation Officers & State Prosecutors to improve Court convictions and sentencing of rhino poachers & their affiliates:Attendance at crime scenes to ensure evidence is properly collectedAssist investigators in compiling Dockets Watching Brief - assistance to the Prosecution during legal proceedings to reduce Court postponements and delaying tactics of defence attorneysInstitute civil action against poachers for damages suffered as a result of the loss of rhino Lobbying Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice and other Government Departments to increase penalties for rhino poaching

OtherFacilitated Informant Fund for private & community reservesTraining: Advanced Field Ranger & Crime Scene Management Improving communication between game reserves = better security coordinationDirect support in event of a poaching (actual or attempted); sharing of resources & personnel Midlands/Berg, & central KZN reserves coming on boardAWARDS 2013: Winner Rhino Rescue Award 2012: Finalist Best NGO Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Awards Rhino Conservation Awards