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Today, Sunday September 22, 2013 is a day dedicated to rhinos. This World Rhino Day is celebrated to fight against ever more threatening poaching.

WWF , the world organization for the protection of the environment, would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the United Nations Government to make them aware of the problem of poaching and trafficking in wild animals . With this scourge which continues to develop, it is now necessary to act at the highest level to protect wild animals including rhinos.

Poaching hits record high

Every year, hundreds of rhinos fall victim to intensive poaching for their horns. Highly coveted by buyers from the Far East and Yemen, rhino horns are sold at exorbitant prices.

This World Rhino Day reveals alarming figures. Jim Leape, Managing Director of WWF International explains, “On Sunday we celebrate World Rhino Day, yet this year poaching is likely to reach an all-time high. In South Africa alone, more than 600 rhinos have already been slaughtered. “He adds” In many countries, crime syndicates that target rhinos, elephants, tigers and other species are also a threat to peace, security and economic development. 

In addition to hunting, rhinos are also threatened by the destruction of their territory. Intensive agriculture pushes farmers to develop their land encroaching on that of rhinos who are forced to live (or survive) in supervised reserves.

Fight against trafficking

The fight against the trafficking of wild animals is far from obvious. In order to be effective, action must be taken not only in the country of origin but also at the level of borders, transit countries and countries of destination. Raise awareness against poaching internationally, but also at the national level in order to get government bodies to coordinate their prevention and control actions.

The  WWF   called the heads of states to create  national intervention groups made up of police, customs, justice, defense, environmental and other specialized agencies. According to Jim Leape, “ States must act now and show that the fight against wildlife crime is important to them. Only heavy criminal penalties, zero tolerance for corruption and the closure of smuggling routes will put an end to this scourge ”.

Fighting the demand for illicit products

To go even further, it is obvious that we must address the consumers who are the source of poaching. With increasing demand for all of its illegal wildlife products, WWF is urging target governments to step in and educate consumers to hope for awareness and behavior change.

Since rhino horns are equated with power and money, it is difficult for some populations to change their mindset despite the harm done.

At the next United Nations General Assembly to be held next week in New York, the world environmental protection organization WWF wishes to intervene with the governments of Gabon and Germany to address the problems of poaching and traffic that threatens biodiversity . Another meeting will take place on September 26, 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters with the subject “ Poaching and illicit trafficking in wildlife: a crime with multiple dimensions and a growing challenge for the international community ”.

We sincerely hope that these meetings can help in the fight against poaching.

Rhino populations around the world

White rhinoceros: 20,405

Black rhinoceros: 5005

Indian rhinoceros: 2913

Sumatran rhinoceros: 200

Java Rhino: 50

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