Posts Tagged With: apathy

Do South Africans even know they have rhinos?

Is South African ignorance and apathy killing rhinos? paula with ele 2

From Kenyan wildlife advocate Paula Kahumbu

Dear friends,

I travel to South Africa regularly to speak at major conservation conferences. I always hope to be surprised by finding this country’s Wangari Mathaai. So far the only person of colour at one meeting was a photographer. A few days ago, my taxi driver told me he had no idea if South Africa had rhinos! I have been told that Africans dont know, dont care, and are simply not interested or worthy of engaging. My view is that THIS IS TOTAL BOLLOCKS and represents dangerous thinking. People of colour in South Africa are propably the only people with the power to move their leadership.

Zuma is unlikely to listen to a rabid Kenyan!
WHATS AT STAKE? South Africa is about to propose a re-opening of rhino horn trade that could wipe out the species.
The decision to open trade or not, should involve the people of this country, just as Kenyans lobby to save elephants. But I have not met a single person of colour in SA who is aware that the world is poised on the edge of rhino extinction due to SA policies.

On 19th May I speak at The WILDLIFE IN CRISIS conference at Cape Town University. It will be a tense debate between pro and anti trade advocates.
I need your help to reach out to South Africans to attend, learn, and engage in this debate.
I need your help to reach South Africans, especially previously disenfranchised groups, to come to the 3 day event which is free to the public.
Please out me in touch with teachers, politicians, CEO’s, journalists, bloggers, university profs, students, experts, diplomats etc, as quickly as possibke.

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Should I Care?

One of the biggest obstacles I’ve experienced in my calling to bring awareness to the crisis of rhino poaching is apathy. Often I hear “Why should I care?” There are other things happening in the world-cancer, rape, poverty…the rhino is “just an animal”.

My answer is this: firstly yes, the world is riddled with problems. Everyone carries their own passion for something. One person may wage the war on poverty, while another aims to bring attention to breast cancer. That does NOT mean they don’t care about anything else, just that they have a specific concern that’s close to their hearts. Mine is obviously rhinos.2 rhinos long horn

Secondly there are a multitude of reasons for everyone to care about rhinos; it goes much deeper than “just an animal”.

1. The Rhino is considered an Umbrella Species. This means if you take them out of the picture it will heavily affect the integrity of ecosystems and the survival of other species.

2. People will not stop with Rhino. If they become extinct, the poaching will not end, it will simply carry over to a “replacement” species. The Asian market is the biggest threat to rhino due to the myths of the horn curing ailments, this belief already carries over to using other animals as well , they would simply turn to more of that. The decimation of other species would be imminent.

3. The poaching and demand for horn and ivory is linked to terrorism and drug activity.  The groups “sponsoring” and profiting from the horn are using it to fund their organizations, which are terrorist groups and drug cartels.

4. People affected by the poaching crisis are being murdered, not “just the animals”. The rangers are being killed, the poachers are being killed. Now this insatiable demand has even prompted individuals to attempt to steal horns from museums and zoos, which are putting employees at these places in danger as well.

5. The Rhino is an economic value to the people of Africa. Just as some people unfortunately find a dollar value to the death of the creature, the people of Africa can benefit from the life of them through the tourism industry. The safaris are marketed to people wanting to see the “Big 5”, of which the Rhino is one of.

6. It is our personal responsibility to future generations to care for our planet. It is very possible the next generation may not ever see a rhino, except in a book. The same reasons we should care about pollution, recycling, environment preservation…

So kudos to each of you who wage your own war; “Endelea Kupigana” (Swahili for Keep Fighting)! Mine is rhinos, and until there is a universal understanding of the importance of saving the rhino, I will persevere.

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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