Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed May 11, 2016 9:52 am ... _statement

Statement of the Chair of the Committee of Inquiry, Ms Nana Magomola
08 May 2016

Minister of Environmental Affairs,

Members of the media,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with information relating to the comprehensive process undertaken by the Committee of Inquiry to deliver on the Terms of Reference provided by the Minister. The Committee was comprised of a cross-section of stakeholders from both the public and private sector; all leaders in their field that were selected for their extensive expertise in their areas of work.

As the Chairperson of the Committee I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the commitment and integrity with which the members conducted themselves in delivering on this important assignment. I would furthermore like to acknowledge the contributions made by individuals, stakeholders, NGOs and interest groups, who submitted inputs through the public participation process.

Minister and members of the media, I will focus on the process followed by the Committee to deliver on the Terms of Reference.

The Committee of Inquiry first assessed the current situation and the interventions implemented to date. Then, through a process of stakeholder consultation, scenario planning, development of information documents on a number of key issues, analysis of case studies and a decision-tree analysis process, the Committee identified five key areas that require interventions independently of any decision on whether to advocate trade legalisation or not:

Community empowerment
Biological management
Responsive legislative provisions and effective implementation
Demand management
The primary recommendation from the Committee was that Government should do everything possible to address the key issues contained above. These issues, if not addressed, could enable wildlife crime to grow, impede government’s ability to conserve rhino in its natural habitat, and limit opportunities to realise benefits associated with successful conservation.

Given the above as the starting point, the remaining issues that the Committee considered were the potential role of demand reduction and / or legal trade to address demand pressures AND how to finance rhino protection in South Africa.

Four options relating to trade in rhino horn vs alternative solutions were considered and evaluated using various rigorous analytical and scenario planning methodologies and these were included in the report for consideration by the inter-Departmental Technical Advisory Committee and the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

The Committee furthermore developed three possible trade models for consideration by Cabinet and also subjected these to a SWOT analysis. The Committee noted that the institutional design of any trade mechanism would ultimately depend on agreement being reached with potential international trade partners, and decisions on the role to be played by government and other role players in its management and control.

I would like to reflect on the number of studies commissioned by the Department of Environmental Affairs to inform the Committee of Inquiry’s discussions and to further inform the implementation of the recommendations emanating from its report.

The following six studies were initiated, five of which have been concluded:

The status of white rhino on private and communal land in South Africa
The status and management of black rhino in South Africa
Illegal wildlife and wildlife product demand reduction: Lessons learnt, critical success factors and time frames
Assessment of the socio-economic status of rural communities neighbouring protected areas; the impacts of rhino poaching; and opportunities for development of wildlife-based economies
Review of the relationships between protected areas and neighbouring rural communities and the efficacy of community conservation projects implemented in selected areas in South Africa; and
The impact of rhino poaching on Tourism.
Time does not allow for details, but the following are important facts to note:

At the end of 2014, there were between 4,945 to 5,505 white rhino on private and communal land in South Africa.
In response to the poaching pandemic, at least 39 and possibly 63 properties disinvested completely of white rhino during the survey period resulting in a loss of a minimum of 11.8% of white rhino habitat.
No key population of white rhino experienced disinvestment.
Security costs were reported to have doubled since 2010 with a national private white rhino security cost of approximately R40 million annually. In addition to this, the cost borne by private land owners for monitoring their white rhino populations is close to double this figure and estimated to be approximately R75 million annually; resulting in overall security and monitoring costs of R115 million annually.
Overall reported numbers of black rhino in South Africa were 1 842 in 2014, compared to 1 877 in 2011. The land area available for black rhino in South Africa increased by 8.7% after 2011, to more than 3 million hectares.
With regards to demand reduction; a general issue is raised regarding the lack of reliable and consistent information regarding reductions in consumption or trade that have been achieved within specified time frames. Where such data is provided, the evidence regarding the reductions that have been achieved, and over what time frames, is mixed. Moreover, it is difficult to assess the reliability and validity of claims that have been made regarding the effectiveness of such campaigns. Limited information is available regarding the methodologies used in such studies, e.g. regarding the questionnaires and monitoring mechanisms used to evaluate success. The importance of understanding the cultural context and the consumer profile was highlighted as critical.Overall there is a need for reliable information and verified data to guide demand reduction activities.
The socio-economic impact study includes a set of recommendations that include among others the need for improved communication relating to the benefits of rhino conservation, increased visibility of community benefits from effective anti-poaching measures, the important role the biodiversity economy will play in providing opportunities to communities, and the importance to ensure the self-sustainability of community projects.
The tourism study, funded by the GEF5 Rhino project, was aimed at understanding the direct and indirect consequences of rhino poaching in the context of tourism. Some of the conclusions include that tourists view rhino poaching as the most important challenge faced by parks and conservation organisations; rhino is second after lions as being the most preferred animal to view; and that anti-poaching measures have an influence on the tourist experience that will require especially pro-active communication interventions to ensure tourists understand the need for these measures.
As we acknowledged at the media briefing in February 2015, when the Committee was introduced, the challenges we face around rhino poaching are complex, but we trust that the work done by the Committee will make a positive contribution to rhino conservation in South Africa.

Thank you

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed May 11, 2016 12:23 pm

CITES confirms proposal from Swaziland on trade in rhino horn for CoP17.

See document here: ... _Rhino.pdf

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed May 11, 2016 6:04 pm

As normal, government has talked itself into a corner, now giving all sorts of reasons why the request for legalisation was cancelled... :O^

If all these reasons were in place, why request legalisation in the first place? 0-

I'm pro-trade, but this is embarrassing! 0*\

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Tue May 17, 2016 9:12 pm

Opinion piece here
SA misses rhino conservation opportunity ‘of a lifetime’

Re: Pull up a chair, put your feet up.....

Wed May 18, 2016 10:16 am

Great article!

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed May 18, 2016 10:20 am

A very interesting read \O

Thank you, Toko O0

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Mon May 23, 2016 9:18 pm ... SKCN0YE1R7

Technology | Mon May 23, 2016 11:13am
South African court gives green light to domestic trade in rhino horn

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed a government bid to uphold a seven-year ban on the domestic trade in rhino horn, an industry group said on Monday.

The decision has no bearing on a ban on international trade in rhino horn. Potential domestic buyers could include those who see rhino horn as a store of wealth that could appreciate in value and those who want it as a decoration.

Thousands of South African rhinos have been slain in recent years to meet demand for the horn in Asian countries, where buyers consider it an aphrodisiac, a cure for cancer or treatment for hangovers.

"Legal finality has now been achieved," Pelham Jones, chairman of South Africa's Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA), told Reuters, saying trade could resume this year.

Around 5,000 rhinos, or about a quarter of South Africa's population, are in private hands. Rhino horn can be harvested as it grows back and it can be removed from a tranquilized animal.

The government has not revealed the size of its rhino horn stockpile but the PROA estimates its members have around 6 tonnes and reckons the state has close to 25 tonnes. The combined 31 tonnes could fetch $2 billion by some estimates.

A spokeswoman for South Africa's department of environmental affairs said it would comment later in the day on the ruling, which was made on Friday.

It was not immediately clear if the department would now appeal to the Constitutional Court, the top court in the land.

Supporters of rhino horn trade say the money earned could be used for conservation and to pay for security. Opponents counter that a legal trade could tempt poachers who kill rhinos to launder their "blood" horns with clean supplies.

The decision is a setback to government efforts to keep a lid on the domestic trade in rhino horn, which was imposed in 2009. It comes just months ahead of a major U.N. conference on wildlife trade that South Africa will host.

The domestic trade ban was challenged by rhino owners in court last year and the moratorium was overturned.

Both buyers and sellers of rhino horn in South Africa still need to apply for a permit, so that the government can keep tabs on the commodity.

John Hume, the world's biggest rhino rancher who owns around 1,300 of the animals, said he was hoping to sell some of his stock of five tonnes.

"We will certainly try and sell some rhino horn very shortly," he said.

(Editing by James Macharia and Tom Heneghan)

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:34 pm

Moratorium on rhino horn trade reinstated as minister Edna Molewa files application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court
08 June 2016

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court in the matter involving the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn.

The application was filed on Monday, 6 June 2016, in terms of Rule 19 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court, which provides for the procedure for an application for leave to appeal.

The application suspends the operation and execution of the High Court’s 2015 invalidation of the moratorium, and means that the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn, or products or derivatives thereof, is once again in place.

The moratorium which took effect on 13 February 2009 was implemented in terms of section 57(2) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA).

The moratorium was challenged in court by farmers Johan Kruger in 2012, and John Hume in 2015. Wildlife Ranching South Africa and the Private Rhino Owners Association of South Africa supported the application.

On 26 November 2015 the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria (High Court) set aside the moratorium with immediate and retrospective effect.

Pursuant to this judgment, the Minister filed an application for leave to appeal to the High Court, which was dismissed. The Minister then petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) for leave to appeal. The SCA in May 2016 dismissed the Minister’s application for leave to appeal with costs. No reasons were given for the order.

The respondents in this matter are Johan Kruger (First Respondent), John Hume (Second Respondent), Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) (Third Respondent) and The Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA) (Fourth Respondent).

The respondents have 10 days thereafter within which to respond in writing, indicating whether or not the application for leave to appeal is being opposed, and if so, on what grounds. The respondents may also wish to lodge a cross appeal.

No permits will be authorized in terms of NEMBA to trade in rhino horn and any derivatives or products of horn until the matter is finalized by the Constitutional Court.

The judgment by the High Court does not relate to the international trade in rhino horn for commercial purposes, which is prohibited in terms of the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

South Africa will host the 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES in Johannesburg from 24 September to 5 October 2016.

For media inquiries contact:

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:18 pm

What a circus! 0*\

Re: Legalising International Trade in Rhino Horn ???

Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:30 pm

These are the people governing the country 0- O/