WHAT IS pROJECT rHINO?
Project Rhino is a collaboration of over 37 organisations in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal Province, combatting Wildlife Crime. It began in 2011 when ACT and 17 other entities came together to build a common vision and collaborate to address the scourge of Rhino poaching. Project Rhino continues to support reserves, provincial authorities and NGO’s in the sector to train, support and fund.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Wildlife Crime is a global multi-billion dollar industry, and is having a devastating effect on biodiversity, natural resources and government integrity. Apart from the massive species losses and extinctions, this industry permeates society, disrupting communities, corrupting governments and creating financial burdens for state and NGO’s alike. If we don’t do something, we will lose iconic species and future generations will be the poorer for it. Government is often unable to effectively react to the swiftly changing environment in which these international criminal syndicates operate and the Project Rhino collaborative can support structures and field operatives quickly and efficiently.
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
In response to the escalating threat to South Africa’s black and white rhino populations from organised poaching syndicates, ACT ran its successful Skydive for Rhino’s campaign in KwaZulu-Natal in 2011 and a nation-wide campaign in 2012 to raise funds for four major national anti-poaching strategies. The campaign was a huge success and resulted in 400+ jumpers skydiving from 4 sites around the country raising R6.6 million in cash and kind. The funds raised have been used for aerial surveillance, advanced training for game reserve staff, the provision of equipment for rhino anti-poaching units (APUs) and community intervention programmes.
ACT served as the Project Rhino secretariat from 2011 – 2021; employing the project management team and certain field staff, leasing invaluable airfield capacity, and assisting with admin and management and remain actively involved in its education, anti-poaching and conservation efforts.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are a number of ways you can help prevent wildlife crime: Help spread awareness – for example, rhino horn does not cure cancer – follow the ACT and Project Rhino social media pages and share the work we are doing. Refuse any jewellery or curio items made from questionable sources. Add ACT as a beneficiary to your Woolworths MySchool Card, or join Litres for Education to contribute a portion of your fuel spend at no cost to you. Volunteer your time at the next Project Rhino fundraising event, or purchase a Project Rhino shirt from Mr Price Sport stores and help share the message. You can also make a direct donation to the Rhino Fund or start your own campaign in support of one of Project Rhino’s projects.